Man spreads his son’s ashes in every ballpark

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This is not one for those of you who are afraid to cry. Or who are afraid to confront some pretty heavy emotions on a Tuesday afternoon.

The story comes from the Broward/Palm Beach New Times, and it’s about a man named Dave MacDougall who, in January 2015, suddenly and tragically lost his nine year-old son Johnny to a brain aneurysm. It was obviously devastating, in ways most of us couldn’t even begin to comprehend. But MacDougall has, in his own way, made something positive or, at the very least, motivating and inspiring out of it:

When baseball season crept up the spring after Johnny died, Dave MacDougall and his younger son, Tommy, decided to honor Johnny by carrying out the cross-country trip he had wanted to take. Over the past two summers, they have visited 15 stadiums, racking up nearly 10,000 miles and driving through almost 20 states in a 1976 VW campmobile. During the seventh-inning stretch, when the fans sing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game,” the pair quietly spreads some of Johnny’s ashes at each stadium.

“When we scatter his ashes, it’s sad,” MacDougall says. “But it also gives us a chance to reflect and remember Johnny on a regular basis.”

Read it all. And Bring a hanky.

 

Phillies’ Bryce Harper to miss start of season after elbow surgery

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PHILADELPHIA – Phillies slugger Bryce Harper will miss the start of the 2023 season after he had reconstructive right elbow surgery.

The operation was performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles.

Harper is expected to return to Philadelphia’s lineup as the designated hitter by the All-Star break. He could be back in right field by the end of the season, according to the team.

The 30-year-old Harper suffered a small ulnar collateral ligament tear in his elbow in April. He last played right field at Miami on April 16. He had a platelet-rich plasma injection in May and shifted to designated hitter.

Harper met Nov. 14 with ElAttrache, who determined the tear did not heal on its own, necessitating surgery.

Even with the elbow injury, Harper led the Phillies to their first World Series since 2009, where they lost in six games to Houston. He hit .349 with six homers and 13 RBIs in 17 postseason games.

In late June, Harper suffered a broken thumb when he was hit by a pitch and was sidelined for two months. The two-time NL MVP still hit .286 with 18 homers and 65 RBIs for the season.

Harper left Washington and signed a 13-year, $330 million contract with the Phillies in 2019. A seven-time All-Star, Harper has 285 career home runs.

With Harper out, the Phillies could use Nick Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber at designated hitter. J.T. Realmuto also could serve as the DH when he needs a break from his catching duties.