A baseball player's first home run is always a special moment, but for 16-year-old Jonathan Sabo who plays for the East Coast Baseball Academy, it was almost miraculous.
Sabo's grandfather passed away on July 21, and the two were very close. "He loved baseball. I loved baseball. He lived with me my entire life," Sabo told ABC 4 Charleston.
The last conversation they had was about one of Jonathan's upcoming tournaments, according to the Post and Courier. "He was asking me when my next tournament was," Sabo said during a recent interview. "Then he said, 'How about a homerun?' I told him I didn't know if I could do that. We were playing on a minor league field. I'm not that big. He said, 'Well try for me.'"
Sabo, who weighs 150 lbs, didn't get a single hit during the first two games of the tournament. However, he started the third game with a double. His next time at bat, he fell behind the count 0-2. "I dont even remember hitting the ball," Sabo told ABC 4. "I just remember rounding first base. It's the best thing that ever happened to me. I broke down and started crying. My teammates ran over and hugged me and said that's the best thing you've done. My Dad came over and gave me a big hug. We broke down crying."
Sabo's coach Randy Carlson didn't think a homerun was possible due to the size of the field. “I kind of think his grandpa was up there helping him out a little bit. You usually see that ball hook foul. It was something else, pretty neat," he told the Post and Courier. Jonathan was given the ball and wrote a simple message to his grandfather: 'To the best grandfather ever.'
According to the Post and Courier, Sabo's home run home was East Coast Baseball Academy's only one of the tournament.