Mother reaches out to thank Brewers fan for giving youngster special day
Jon Byman and Jay Sorgi
An initially un-named Brewers fan and stranger who reportedly gave a youngster a special day, according to his mom Sarah Kooiman. Photo: Image by The Arena Update
MILWAUKEE - "It was the sweetest, sweetest thing...it's amazing and overwhelming."
When Sarah Kooiman brought her husband and three kids to a Brewers game Sunday afternoon, they hoped to simply enjoy a day at the ballpark.
It became extra special, because of a complete stranger who Sarah said was sitting in front of them at the game.
Sarah said Chad McLaughlin made an extra effort for her kids and gave her oldest son a supremely special day.
"My sons are five, three and less than two, so they were squirly to say the least. You never know who you're going to get," Sarah told Newsradio 620 WTMJ's "Wisconsin's Morning News." She also talked on TODAY'S TMJ4's "The Morning Blend."
"He was very kind and engaged with my kids, was very gracious about that."
Gracious could be an understatement when looking at what the fan, a guy who appeared to be in his 20's, did for her oldest son Isaiah.
"He said that in the middle of innings, when the Brewers would come from the outfield...if you would run down (to the dugout), they would sometimes throw balls to kids in the stands," explained Sarah.
"He asked if he could bring Isaiah down there. He tried twice. My husband tried once. At the end of the game, he tried one more time to run down to the dugout to get a ball, but he never had one thrown his way. It was pretty sad to see Isaiah's face the first couple times. He just looked heartbroken. It was kind of sad."
The guy Sarah initially called "The Mystery Man at Miller Park" then took it upon himself to change Isaiah's broken heart.
"(He said) 'You know what, buddy? I promised you a ball.' Out of nowhere, he pulled out a souvenir Brewers baseball that he had bought out of his pocket and gave it to Isaiah. I had no idea he had done it," said Sarah.
"It really struck me. There was still a chance he could have gotten a game ball down by the dugout, but he had prepared that just in case, because he had promised Isaiah a ball. Isaiah lit up like a Christmas tree."
The problem was, Sarah initially forgot to find out the guy's name.
So Sarah blogged about the experience, hoping to find out who that mystery fan is. The blog lit up like a Christmas tree as well, going viral.
"I wrote about it. It posted yesterday morning. When things went a little crazy, I had people coming out of the woodwork telling me his name. I never thought I would find out who he actually was."
She said that a social media user helped identify the fan.
"He has been just as gracious," said Sarah. She followed up and said " 'I'm very touched by what you wrote...but no thanks is necessary...not needed,' " said Sarah.
He even refused her offer to thank him through coffee or lunch.
"I hope Chad appreciates what it did...it actually speaks to what we are yearning for as people...uplifting stories of people being great."