Brandon Belt hit one of the most important home runs of his career on Friday night. Believe it or not, the San Francisco Giants first baseman’s blast to right field came during a rehab assignment with the Triple-A San Jose Giants. So what was so special about it? Just ask Lyndsey Dworkin.
Dworkin, a 12-year-old cancer survivor, threw out the ceremonial first pitch at Municipal Stadium on Friday. She chose to wear a T-shirt with Belt’s name on the back when she took the field, and Belt rushed to meet her as she was walking off. He then decided to make her a promise.
“I’m going to hit a home run for you,” Belt said he told Dworkin, via Daniel Brown of the San Jose Mercury News.
Lindsey has undergone 31 bouts of radiation and nine rounds of chemotherapy to treat a brain tumor. She was so thrilled to meet Belt that she didn’t even have time to get hung up on his promise. In fact, she forgot all about it until a team employee brought her the home run ball after Belt drove it over the right field wall in the first inning.
“I kind of forgot about it,” Dworkin explained with a laugh. “That’s when I said, ‘Oh yeah, he did say that.”
Belt signed the ball “To Lyndsey, my good luck charm.” He has also invited the Dworkin family to visit AT&T Park when he returns to the majors and join him on the field for batting practice.
Lyndsey, an avid soccer player, attended a San Jose Giants game with her mother Kristine on Breast Cancer Awareness night last season. She was interested in the pink jerseys that were being auctioned off for charity, and chief marketing officer Juliana Paoili later presented her with one after hearing her story.
Now, 1 1/2 years after being diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor, Lyndsey is expected to make a full recovery. We’re glad to see she has made a new friend along the way.