In addition to providing you with exclusive interviews with celebrities as well as charitable profiles of your favorite Hollywood stars and TV personalities, we here at Good Celebrity scour the web looking for positive stories happening all over the world and throughout all walks of life.
One of our favorite sources of positivity is Chris Connelly of ESPN. The sports giant’s feature reporter hit another home run with his latest tearjerker.
Ziggy Hits the Diamond
The Los Angeles Dodgers are one of the best teams in baseball this season, but on June 25 the organization decided Dave Roberts needed a little help managing the ball club.
Cue Lazaro “Ziggy” Monarrez.
Through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the 11-year-old fan, who was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) when he was 12 months old, was granted his wish to manage the Dodgers for a day.
“Why do you want to manage the Dodgers?” Connelly asked Ziggy while visiting he and his family at their home in El Paso, Texas.
“They’re [the] Dodgers. That shouldn’t even be a question,” Ziggy replied.
Moments later, Ziggy was surprised with the announcement that his dream would be realized and soon he was in L.A. meeting with his co-manager, Roberts, where he was presented with a jersey bearing his name.
“That’s awesome,” said Ziggy upon seeing his #22 white and blue uniform.
A lifelong baseball fan, Ziggy’s diagnosis of SMA meant he’d have to live his entire life in a wheelchair, preventing him from ever being able to play the game.
“It was hard that he wasn’t going to be able to walk and play baseball because that was one of the things we all did,” Ziggy’s mom, Araceli, told ESPN.
“He’s a smart boy, and that’s typical for kids with [Type 2] SMA. When he was little, I noticed he would pick up on things very quickly, and I thought, maybe it’s because when all the other kids are exploring their world — crawling and walking and these other things — what is Ziggy doing? He’s learning. He’s observing,” she added.
His intelligence came in handy during the game as he was every bit as important as the world class athletes on the field. In fact, Ziggy was integral when it came time to pull the team’s ace, Clayton Kershaw, who’d run out of gas after six shutout innings.
“I’m thinking of taking Kershaw out now. What do you think?” Roberts asked Ziggy.
“Yeah,” Ziggy replied.
Roberts then went with a lineup that Ziggy spent a week preparing.
“You really are the co-manager, aren’t you?” said Araceli.
Ziggy’s keen eye and decision-making paid off as the Dodgers defeated the Colorado Rockies 4-0 for their ninth consecutive win. Following the victory, Ziggy joined the team on the field and high-fived each player as they walked off.
“Nice job, Skip. You’re 1-0!” Roberts told him.
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(Photo Credit: Twitter / @MakeAWish)