T-Rex Baseball Club’s return home from a national tournament in Atlanta on Friday had canceled flights, long delays and an adventure that Scottsdale Chaparral senior Jacob Gonzalez, his father, former Diamondbacks star Luis Gonzalez, and the rest of the team will remember for the rest of their lives.
While hung up in the Houston airport for eight hours, waiting for the connecting flight to Phoenix, Jacob, a third baseman who made azcentral sports’ All-Arizona baseball team last season, befriended a 22-year-old man with Down syndrome named Connor.
Jacob and Luis Gonzalez took in Connor, who was on his own on the flight home.
According to Jacob’s post on Twitter, Connor accidentally fell in the airport restroom and wanted to be taken to a hospital.
Jacob described how he and his father were able to calm him down. Then, during takeoff, with Jacob near his side, Connor had shortness of breath, again feeling panic. With his father’s help, Jacob was able to get Connor to relax and get home, where they took him to eat.
It was a life-changing experience for Jacob, who has committed to TCU.
It taught him the value of unconditional love, which ended up being more important than the loaded club baseball tournament in which his team went 4-2-1.
“Myself and my dad and teammates just felt moved to take care of him on our eventful trip back to Arizona,” Jacob said. “I truly didn’t write this for the attention. We just wanted to share how we felt God put us in the right place at the right time to help someone out.
“During our eight-hour delay, Connor did not complain once. He was the happiest kid I’ve ever met. He taught us that when we think things are really bad they really aren’t that bad.”
Jacob followed up to make sure Connor was still OK a day later.
“Connor is breathing perfect now and is back to normal with the help from everyone,” Jacob said.