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Ryan Howard, Good Dude

Mar 27, 2007, 11:23 AM EDT

In a comment on yesterday’s post about Ryan Howard’s Philly Mag cover story, commenter Joe from Haddonfield told of his spring training tale.

My 9-y.o. son and I were in Clearwater two weeks ago for some Spring Training action. We sat in the picnic section, which is the primo location for meeting players/getting autographs. You get access to players without the pushing of other section. Hence, longer access to players.

Another kid, clearly very ill with little hair and various tubes hanging out of him, was next to us.

Howard walked over after his turn at B.P. and shagging flies. He began signing a stack of things for the sick kid. He wasn’t going to stop until the kid’s pile was gone. The sick kid was speechless. My son was speechless. That left me one-on-one with the reigning NL MVP. He was a great guy to talk to. We had seen him throwing bats in frustration at BP for two days, so I asked about his swing. He talked about his struggles two weeks before the local media picked up the thread. He joked with the kids. Talked about where to eat. His least favorite ballparks.

He is a rare man. Kind. Focused. Dedicated. Talented.

Ryan Howard.  Good dude.  Thanks for sharing, Joe in Haddonfield.