All It Takes Is One Moment
Every year kids from around the globe rush to the fence, grab hold and stare at their idols tossing a ball around on a field. Many of those kids will never get the opportunity to meet those idols and if they do get that rare chance, it’s nothing more than a quick autograph and a maybe a “whats up” if they’re lucky.
Well, I’d like to share a quick story about how Keone Kela made the day of one young boy and then nine months later, remembered him and asked him a follow up question.
This story comes from a man named Andy Kane and he shared his story with Chuck Greenberg, owner of the Frisco Roughriders, who shared it on his Facebook page. With permission from Mr. Kane, I’d like to share it with all of you.
So long story, long, but it’s a good one with a happy ending. Last year when we traveled on the road to see Kansas City and Texas, my 6 year old Jonas was approached by a rookie pitcher named Keone Kela. Keone was very nice to Jonas and threw him a baseball. He was so excited to finally get a ball. We were also there with friends who had a little girl that was Jonas’ age. So as soon as he got the ball in his hands, he looked at me, and then looked at the girl and handed her the ball without me even saying a word. Keone saw this and said, “I just gave it to you why did you give it to the little girl?” My son replied, “Because my dad teaches me to be a gentleman”. I’ve never been so proud of my son in my entire life. He passed on the ball that a Major Leaguer threw to him without batting an eye, b/c it was the right thing to do. See, Jonas has three sisters. He also has a father and mother who expect him to be a gentleman. And boy did he come through with flying colors!
Keone saw this gesture by my son and was impressed enough to hand him the hat right off his head. In amazement, Jonas put it on his own head and smiled and said, “Thank you.” We looked inside the hat and saw that it had a number scribbled out and a new number written in it, which means this hat was not just a regular hat it was Keone’s from Spring Training until the time he actually made the team and got a lower number.
I know it’s long bear with me.
We were so moved by this gesture by a ballplayer that had just met my son that we have been trying to find a way to say thank you to him for about a year. So about nine months later we finally got a chance to say thank you in person at the Winter Caravan in Frisco. My son, using his own idea, autographed his own hat to give to Keone to say thank you.
As we stepped up to talk to Keone at the Winter Caravan in Frisco, Jonas could barely speak he was so excited. To my surprise when Keone saw the hat he originally gave my son he remembered him and said, “Still taking care of the ladies?”
My son just couldn’t do anything but smile and said, “Yes sir.”
Day made…. Day made!
Thank you Keone for your selflessness and making it so easy for a six-year-old to consider you his favorite player. I most definitely approve. Best of luck to you and we will see you in Arlington and Chicago when we go on our “Dudes only”, father-son trips this summer.
When I asked Mr. Kane if I could share his story, he politely obliged and had this to say as well:
My intent was just to share what a profound impact an athlete can have in the most fleeting of moments to them. Keone helped drive home a point that I hope engrains itself in my son…living a selfless life. Keone took the time and I will be grateful for a long time.
This kind of gesture will surely make Mr. Kane and his young son Jonas a Kela fan for life. We need more stories like this in today’s world. Good on you Keone Kela.