Reds batboy with Down Syndrome a great story, but it shouldn't end
Feel good stories are easy. Summon compassion, engage the empathy gear and drive. Nobody doesn't like his or her heart warmed.
Following through is hard. Sticking around after the camera lights dim and the truck is packed takes work. That's where the Cincinnati Reds find themselves now, with their honorary batboy, Teddy Kremer.
You might have seen Kremer on the highlights. In a game a week or so ago, he asked Reds third baseman Todd Frazier to hit a home run. Frazier did just that. Cue Kremer, greeting Frazier at home plate, so completely joyed that he neglected to pick up Frazier's bat. The triumphant pair proceeded to hug in the dugout.
If you didn't see that, maybe you caught Kremer with Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio). Kremer was Boehner's guest at President Obama's most recent State of the Union address. ESPN has taken note. It is planning an E:60 segment on the life and times of Teddy Kremer.
It has been nearly a year since the 30-year-old Kremer's parents won the silent auction bid at a school fundraiser that led to their son being the Reds batboy for a night. After Cheryl Kremer agreed to pay the necessary $300, she had a question for Reds chief operating officer Phil Castellini:
"Is it OK that Teddy has Down syndrome?''
OK? It has been better than OK for all concerned. The Reds have been gracious and protective, funneling all appearance and interview requests through the Kremers. They've used Kremer as a batboy twice. The publicity for their effort has been incessantly positive.
It has been good for Cheryl and Dave Kremer to see their son doing things no one would have believed possible a year ago, let alone when Teddy was born. In 1983, doctors and counselors still suggested there were "places'' for people "like Teddy'' to live.
It has been good for advocacy groups, who can point to the past year and say, "See?''
And of course, no one has had it better than Kremer himself. He has taken an entire city on the ride of his life. Moist eyes and light hearts, all around.
Now it's time to do better.
Kremer's story can't end here. Worse, it can't continue the same as it is now, with Kremer the 30-year-old man making cameos racking Reds bats, whenever the sentiment strikes. The mascoting of Teddy has to end, before it stops being wonderful and becomes something far less.
Read More: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/mlb/news/20130423/teddy-kremer/