Since the introduction of genetic testing, 92% of pregnant women in the United States choose to have an abortion instead of giving birth to a child with Down Syndrome. But these children can and do bring something remarkable to this world, just ask our own Matthew and Ursula Hennessey.
Last August 17th, in the heat of the National League pennant race, the Cincinnati Reds did the unthinkable. They introduced a distraction into their clubhouse and dugout, a young man with DS named Teddy Kremer. He got there because his parents participated in a silent auction charity event at Mercy Montessori where Reds COO Phil Castellini sends his children. Even though the opportunity was slated for boys aged 15-19 and Teddy was 29, Castellini promised the Kremers that if their bid won he would make it happen. And he did.
The players and Manager Dusty Baker embraced Teddy, even more so after they turned a 3-1 deficit to the Cubs into a 3-run lead by posting a 5-spot in the 4th inning. After the game, Baker gave Teddy the lineup card from the dugout wall and autographed it "To our good luck charm, Teddy Kremer."
Teddy became something of celebrity in Cincinnati after that. Speaker of the House John Boehner invited Teddy to be his guest at this year's State of the Union address where he exchanged hugs with Michelle Bachmann, a wave with the President of the United States and a few tears (what else?) with the Speaker.
Thursday night, Teddy returned to the Reds dugout for their game vs the hapless Miami Marlins. In the second inning, Kremer's favorite player, third baseman Todd Frazier struck out.
“He tapped me on the shoulder and said, ‘It’s all right. I still love you. You’ll be fine,'" Frazier said. "How can you be mad after any at bat with something like that?"
By the 6th the Reds were cruising 9-1. But Teddy wanted more.
“I was standing on the steps before I went on deck because I was up third,” said Frazier. “He said, ‘C’mon, brother, I love you. Hit me a home run.’ And I said, ‘You got it,’ not really thinking anything about it."
And then Frazier did this:
And then to top it all off, ESPN was there to document Teddy's night for a 30 for 30 documentary to air this fall.
On Monday, the bombings in Boston showed the cruelty of man to man. On Wednesday, the plant explosion in West, Texas showed the cruelty of life itself. On Thursday, Teddy Kremer and Todd Frazier showed why it's all worth hanging around for.
For more on the special relationship between Teddy and the team read John Erardi's excellent piece in the Cincinnati Enquirer, Ted joined Reds for a day, but changed team forever .