For the fourth year running, the Colorado Rockies hosted pediatric cancer patients from a Denver children's hospital at the team's spring training facility.
The program owes much to Rockies players, both current and former. For three years, shortstop Troy Tulowitzki underwrote the annual visits by patients from Children's Hospital Colorado. After he was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays in July, Tulowitzki asked the team to carry on the tradition, and players Brandon Barnes and Jason Motte, who started a foundation to raise money for cancer research in 2010, agreed to help host the program.
On March 4, 24 patients from Children's Hospital Colorado arrived in Scottsdale, Ariz., accompanied by caregivers and family members.
In Scottsdale, they visited the Rockies' facility for batting practice and games, taking home autographs and pictures with players.
They watched BP & took home some autographs ⚾️ pic.twitter.com/CtG7fWgiDz— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) March 6, 2016
"It's good for those kids to get out from the environment they're in, the hospital or rehab or whatever it is and get out here, away from their life back there, have a little vacation -- let everything go away, and just enjoy being a kid," said Barnes.