Belated Birthday Wishes

On numerous occasions, I have documented the special relationship that my daughter Tiffany has with Diamondbacks pitcher Matt Mantei. One of her most prized possessions is a Stick by Stan bat that was autographed by Matt for Tiffany’s tenth birthday. She has that bat proudly displayed in her room and has to make sure everyone who enters sees her bat. Before the all-star break, Mantei celebrated his birthday during a road trip to Oakland. Tiffany made a note of the date and decided that she should give him a card or a gift. Plans were quickly made to make a birthday card for her special friend. She gathered her art supplies and began to create a card for her favorite player. A lot of love and care went into this card as she worked several days to make it just right. She also found a miniature Arizona Diamondbacks baseball bat and autographed it to give to Matt. Once all of these items were ready, she wrapped and took them to the game with us today. During batting practice, she stood along the wall and waited as Matt completed his workout. At that time, she called him over and presented him with this small present and card. Her eyes lit up as he accepted her gift. I am not sure he will ever understand the love and friendship she has for him. It is not a hero-worship type of relationship but rather a friendship that spans generations. A friendship based upon a game that they both love. This is the meaning of baseball.

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