Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts and catcher Christian Vazquez spent a day in July at the home of Ari Schultz, a 5-year-old Red Sox fan beset by heart problems all his life, and brought him gifts, played baseball, and read stories with him.
They also invited him to throw out a first pitch at a future game at Fenway Park, and Vazquez promised to be the catcher for it. He even presented him with his own catcher’s mask.
Sadly, Ari died not long after meeting the players. But the visit from two Red Sox players brightened his final days. The generosity, compassion, and caring spirit displayed by Bogaerts and Vazquez is why they are the recipients of this year’s The Globies Good Sport Awards.
“I’ve never been around such an uplifting little kid,” Bogaerts told the Globe. “That news, it’s just so sad. He has a special family.”
Ari spent much of his life at Boston Children’s Hospital as he was treated for his heart problems, which included a heart transplant. He loved the Red Sox, and always had Red Sox gear close by. Bogaerts was his favorite player.
His family said he passed away while listening to a game.