An extra gesture taken by a furry green mascot for a minor league baseball team turned an ordinary day at the ballpark into an extraordinary experience for a 7-year-old deaf boy.
Hunter Samworth and his family were waiting for the first pitch at the Dayton Dragon’s home game Saturday night in Dayton, Ohio, when they spotted the team’s mascot, a green dragon named Heater, in front of the stadium.
“He loves to go to the game and see him on the field and in the stands. so when we see him he automatically wants to run up to him,” Hunter’s father, Matt Samworth, posted on Facebook.
That’s when it happened, that one moment, that you see something you’ll never forget,” Samworth wrote.
As Hunter signed hello to Heater, a member of the team’s “Green Team” escorting the mascot began signing back to Hunter. Soon Heater himself was signing back to his biggest fan.
“You can see on the video, his smile is like, he gets me, he speaks my language, he understands me,” Hunter’s mother, Cheri Samworth, told local ABC affiliate WKEF. “Just a completely different experience for Hunter.”
According to the Samworths, the escort for Heater is an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter.
“For someone to come to him in that kind of venue and be able to sign to him is just unbelievable,” Cheri Samworth told WKEF. “It just makes his experience totally different.”
Calls placed to the Dayton Dragons, a Class A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds, were not returned as of this writing.