Cincinnati Reds Find Winning Spirit in Honorary Batboy with Down Syndrome
Chris Connelly of ESPN's "E:60? reports:
When Teddy Kremer was born 30 years ago, doctors diagnosed him with Down syndrome and a geneticist came to speak with his family.
"She said, 'You might want to think about institutionalizing,'" said Kremer's mother, Cheryl Kremer. "It was so dismal when children were born with a handicap 30 years ago that, you know, they gave you no hope."
Cheryl and Dave Kremer did not have their son placed in a facility and, with their constant support, he grew up with a love of sports as big as his upbeat personality.
In March 2012, at a local charity event, one item in the silent auction caught the Kremers' eye.
"We were walking around, looking, and we saw this [prize of becoming] batboy, honorary batboy [for Major League Baseball's Cincinnati Reds]," Cheryl Kremer said.
The Kremers made a bid - and won. Teddy Kremer was elated.
"He came in, just a big friend, just a great guy," said Todd Frazier, an infielder-outfielder for the Reds. "He came up to me - never met the guy in my life - and just [said], 'Todd, how ya been?' He was just a joyous person to be around."
That joy proved irresistible as Teddy, a diehard Reds fan, helped electrify the baseball team.
"I mean, he's our team. He believes that we're going to win. He believes that when he's here, we're going to win," said Dusty Baker, the Reds' manager. "And half of winning is believing."
These days, Teddy Kremer works for the Reds in their fan accommodations office, but he still gets summoned occasionally to the dugout to offer encouragement.
Cheryl Kremer said that, 30 years ago, she could have never imagined her son would spend his life inspiring a whole team with his positive presence.
"That little life that nobody thought was going to do anything has done something," she said.