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Chris Davis met the 9-year-old whose letter told him ‘Don’t give up.’ It was wonderful

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“I just wanted to give him a hug.”

Baltimore Orioles v Boston Red Sox Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Sometimes sports will tug at your heartstrings when you least expect it. This is an example of that, with a nine-year-old Red Sox fan authoring one of the most inspirational moments of the year.

Henry Frasca is the boy’s name, and he was so moved by Orioles first baseman Chris Davis, who earlier in the season was in an 0-for-56 slump, the worst hitless skid in major league history.

“When someone’s hurting, I didn’t like it,” Frasca told Orioles broadcaster Gary Thorne. “So I decided to try and help him out.”

That quote was enough to get the tears flowing while watching, but it got even better. Frasca wrote the note to Davis on April 13, when the Orioles were in Boston for a three-game series. The letter was brief, but inspirational.

“The way you play baseball has absolutely nothing to do with how good a person you are,” Frasca wrote. “Also, you are incredible. You’ve played in the MLB, you’ve done it for a long time. Everyone goes through a slump. Don’t give up, we’re rooting for you.”

I got goosebumps reading that, especially the first sentence.

Davis that night snapped hit hitless streak, going 3-for-5 with two doubles. This isn’t Hollywood, so the letter didn’t spur Davis into MVP contention, or even a return of his power-hitting ways, when he led baseball in home runs from 2012-16. No, Davis has hit .202/.283/.355 after his 0-for-56, nearly unplayable at first base, among the very worst hitters in baseball this season, just like he was in 2018.

But that doesn’t mean the letter wasn’t inspirational.

Davis was so moved by the letter that he kept it with him all season, and met Frasca for the first time on Saturday, with the Orioles back at Fenway Park. Frasca got to shag fly balls during batting practice, and threw dozens of balls he caught to fans in the stands. This kid is the greatest.

Baseball seasons are a long, daily grind, and can be insufferable even for fans of teams that are doing well. Fans of bad teams have to find little slivers of hope wherever they can. The Orioles are on their way to well over 100 losses this year after dropping 115 games last season. But they have provided a few of the coolest moments of 2019.

There was 24-year-old outfielder Anthony Santander, who threw a ball to a group of 4,000 visiting British fans an immediately became their favorite player, complete with chants and cheers every time a ball was hit his way.

Now we have Davis and his nine-year-old fan, with a display of sportsmanship so remarkable that it’s hard not to get emotional about.

“I just wanted to give him a hug,” Davis said of Frasca.

We all did, Chris.