Joe Amore came back from an Air Force deployment two weeks before his son, Anthony, was expecting him, according to ABC's station WLS-TV in Chicago.
"I kept telling him middle of August," Amore told ABC News today.
So when Anthony, 8, was prepping for his baseball game Friday night, he had no idea his dad was already at the field, disguised as the catcher.
"I saw him out on the field ... I was just smiling," Amore said.
The heartwarming video from WLS captures Anthony throwing a pitch, and when the catcher takes off his mask, the 8-year-old is shocked to see a familiar face. The father and son then reunited with a hug.
"It was just unbelievable," Amore told ABC News, adding that he "shed a few tears."
"It was just an awesome moment," he said.
A stunned Anthony told WLS he didn't know his father would be coming home.
"I think he was in a state of shock," Amore told ABC News, but "he was happy."
Amore has a few weeks in Illinois before he returns to work in St. Louis. He said he and Anthony plan to use the time together by taking road trips and going to baseball games.