04/26/2018 1:01 PM -
Bridgewater, NJ- The Somerset Patriots welcomed a special young fan to Spring Training to meet the team and Sparkee The Mascot.
Michael Grzankowski is a four-year old from Laurence Harbor that was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome. He has been through two open-heart surgeries within the first six months of his life. He has what is hopefully his final surgery scheduled for the end of May to help him get to 100%.
Michael loves coming to Somerset Patriots games, so when the opportunity arose to give him a special day with the team, manager Brett Jodie jumped at the opportunity.
“I thought the guys just loved it. It was fun for everybody involved,” said Jodie. “Just to see the smile on Michael’s face with everything he is going through helps put everything in perspective.”
All the Somerset Patriots players had the chance to say hello, take pictures, and bring a smile to Michael’s face while he stretched with the team and watched batting practice.
He was presented the first official 2018 team signed baseball by Jodie with all the players around and Sparkee made sure to put a gift bag together of Patriots merchandise and goodies.
Outfielder Justin Pacchioli and infielder Scott Kelly also presented Michael with game used bats that they signed for him to remember his day at the ballpark.
“He’s going through a lot of stuff that guys on our team, myself included, could never imagine having to do at any age, let alone four years old,” said Pacchioli. “Just having Michael run around with us and see him having fun out there was very exciting for us.”
Michael’s visit helped the team close out Spring Training on a high note as the 2018 season kicks off at TD Bank Ballpark on Friday, April 27th with a 7:05 pm game against the Road Warriors.
The 2018 Somerset Patriots Season presented by Ford features the 20th season at TD Bank Ballpark. Tickets for all games are available at the ticket office located at the ballpark, by calling (908) 252-0700, or online at www.somersetpatriots.com.