Jonathan Lucroy understands the importance of a smile.
And a distraction.
The Milwaukee Brewers catcher was batting 1.000 with both in November during an hour-long get-together with Beckett Roerdink, the 4-year-old from Greenville (Wis.) who was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2013 and received worldwide attention and compassion when he asked for mail for his birthday in a Post-Crescent Media story.
Lucroy said he has two weaknesses when it comes to pulling on his heartstrings — children who are sick and military veterans.
“I try to distract them,” he said. “I think that’s my job as an athlete, as a baseball player. I go out on the field, I play. I give them three hours, three and a half hours of distraction from what they’re having to deal with, whatever it is. I spend the time with them by doing these things like this right now. I try to help others. In an ultimate sense I’m an entertainer so that’s what I’m trying to do is entertain and distract from the realities, the grim realities of their lives, so hopefully I can help out with that.”
Lucroy and Beckett met as part of the Catch a Star program, a sponsorship initiative between Gannett Wisconsin Media, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and Roundy’s Supermarkets. As part of the joint effort, the organizations are selling a card that features Beckett’s drawing and Lucroy’s signature as a way to raise money for the Roerdink family related to his cancer and treatments, Make-A-Wish Wisconsin and Children’s Hospital.
Read more at postcrescent.com