Victorino Keeps His Promise
The Los Angeles Dodgers, Shane Victorino’s new team, were struggling. Badly in need of a victory to keep pace with the first-place San Francisco Giants, Victorino prepped himself for the big game at Dodger Stadium – and he also made a promise.
After the game, he said he would meet with a group of fans from Hawaii. But the night did not go as hoped for the all-star player known as the “Flyin’ Hawaiian.”
Victorino and his teammates fought back, but ultimately lost in extra innings. It was a disheartening loss during a pennant drive, and a long night.
Despite all that, Victorino was true to his word. Well after most of the fans had left, the Maui native climbed the stairwell out of the Dodgers clubhouse and made good. It would be a brief visit, but he specifically wanted to say hello to one very special fan.
Aaron Meyer, 23, of Waikele had been wheeled to the meeting place by his parents Marco and Georgette.
“Aaron is a huge baseball fan,” Marco says. “He’s had cerebral palsy from birth. It was touch and go after he was born, and he was in the hospital for three months. We’re very fortunate he can be mobile, and we’re very happy with the progress he has made.”
From an early age, Aaron became a big fan of his brother Kewby. Local baseball fans became accustomed to seeing Aaron and his wheelchair on hand for his brother’s games. Before Kewby became an all-star first-baseman at Kameha-meha, he was a big hit at the Cal Ripken World Series. Aaron and his family made back-to-back trips to Cooperstown to see him play.
“Georgette took Aaron to Yankee Stadium,” Marco recalls. “He’s been all over the place with us, including Japan, following Kewby.”
Kewby continues to excel on the field. Now at the University of Nevada, he was named all-WAC and Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American this past season with the Wolfpack. And Aaron, who went to Waipahu High School, also continued to make progress.
“When he graduated from high school, that was a real achievement,” Marco says.
With all the attention given to his all-star brother, the family decided they wanted to make a trip especially for Aaron. They heard about the Hawaii sports tour group that would go to games in San Diego, Anaheim, Los Angeles and finish up with the USC-Hawaii football game.
“This recent trip was for Aaron,” Marco says.
With Aaron wearing his Dodger jersey and cap, Victorino came out of the stairwell and apologized for his team not winning. Aaron and the other Hawaii fans frankly didn’t care about the win or loss, and watched as Victorino made a beeline to Aaron’s side, leaning down to talk with him.
The visit was short, but sincere. Victorino had a few words of appreciation for Aaron and posed for a few pictures. Again, he apologized. But considering the long game, a short visit was more than anyone could have hoped for.
“Aaron was very happy, thrilled,” Marco says.
When I asked Aaron if it was exciting meeting Victorino, he had one word: “Yes!”
That word said it all. Shane Victorino fulfilled his promise.