This fictional story is in honor of my little cousin Kateri, who has been in and out of the Hospital of late. I love you Kateri!
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There once was a little girl named Kateri. She lived in New Jersey with her mom, dad and three older brothers. Everyone in the Sullivan house was happy; especially Kateri, who never ever stopped smiling.
Kateri has a smile as bright as any sun. You could never be in a bad mood around her because she was always happy. Whenever her brothers were sad or disappointed, they always looked a Kateri’s smile and immediately felt better. Whenever Kateri’s mom or dad had a tough day at work, they would see her wonderful smile and know everything would be alright.
One day in late September, the Sullivan family decided to attend a Mets game. Kateri loved baseball and couldn’t wait to go to the game. She didn’t care about wins or losses, she just loved the game. She put on her Mets cap and baseball glove and got into the car. Her brothers sat around Kateri in the back seat, and they were all excited about the game. Kateri just kept smiling, knowing she was going to have a wonderful day.
When the family arrived at Citi Field, Kateri’s eyes popped. She had never seen a building so large in her life. Kateri’s dad took her on a tour of Citi Field. She saw the Jackie Robinson monument and got her picture taken with Mr. Met. Her smile was humungous as her father took her to their seats.
The Sullivan family had seats right behind home plate where they could see all the action. Kateri had a bag of popcorn in her hand and was ready for some baseball! The Mets were in the middle of playoff race. This game would decide whether or not the Mets would make the playoffs. Everyone in the stadium was on the edge of their seats except Kateri. She just smiled throughout the game, watching the where baseball would end up next.
Kateri was having a great time. She ate a lot of popcorn, candy and hot dogs, and she won a stuffed bear from the concession stand. She named it “Fun Bear” because all Kateri was doing was having fun.
The Mets were down 5-2 in the bottom of the ninth. The bases were loaded with two outs when David Wright stepped to the plate. Wright was facing All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel, who got Wright to swing and miss on the first two pitches. Wright stepped out of the batter’s box and asked for time. He took off his helmet and took a deep breath. The weight of the world was on his shoulders. This at-bat would determine the Mets’ season — a season filled with hard work and great determination. As Wright was about to succumb to the pressure, he saw a little girl out of the corner of his eye. The girl was Kateri! She had a huge smile on her face and was clapping like crazy. Seeing Kateri’s smile allowed Wright to relax as he stepped back in the batter’s box.
Kimbrel threw the next pitch down the middle of the plate. Wright took a tremendous swing and hit the pitch out of Citi Field for a home run. Mets fans all across the country rejoiced as David Wright hit a playoff clinching home run!
Kateri had a huge smile on her face as Wright ran around the bases. Then out of nowhere, Wright ran up to the Sullivan family and took his helmet off saying: “Your daughter’s smile is the reason I won the game. If I didn’t see her smile out of the corner of my eye, then I don’t think the Mets would be in the playoffs right now!”
With that, Wright gave his batting helmet to Kateri and began to celebrate with his teammates. The Sullivan family was stunned at what David Wright told them. Kateri looked at her family, smiled that wonderful smile and said: “I’m hungry. Can we stop at a restaurant on the way home?”
Kateri’s mom, dad and brothers all laughed and gave her hug. Though she didn’t understand it the time, Kateri had just saved the New York Mets’ season. Who knew the smile from a kind-hearted girl could change the face of baseball history forever?