Boy Saved Florence Player's Life then Surprised Him at Game
Sat, 06/11/2016 - 12:24 RCN Newsdesk
"He fell flat on his face and then I asked if he was OK and he wasn't answering, so I grabbed his phone and called 911," said 13-year old Nathan Boyer. "I remembered it from the Boy Scouts a couple of years ago, you just lock your hands together and start pushing on their chest."
That's about it.
4 minutes later, local Chandler, Arizona firefighters were rushing 26-year old Florence Freedom catcher Isaac Wenrich - who coaches in Arizona in the offseason - to a local hospital after he suffered a massive heart attack.
Wenrich would make a full recovery after the scary event last March.
On Friday night at UC Health Stadium - Boy Scout night no less - after a couple of ceremonial first pitches to Wenrich by local scouts, autographs, and some picture taking 'malfunctions' to keep Wenrich turned around, Boyer sprinted out to the hill dressed in a Freedom uniform complete with his last name and Wenrich's #16.
After Wenrich's turn to the mound for one last 'first pitch', the two froze for a split second, Boyer did the ole' hip point to Wenrich and the pair ran towards each other with Wenrich almost skipping, jumping and yelling the whole way to greet the young man he hadn't seen in 65 days.
The two came together with Wenrich clutching and embracing him like a big brother would. The surprise that the Freedom front office was hoping to keep in the bag was successful as evident by the tears of joy Isaac was shedding as he walked back to behind home plate to receive his friend's pitch.
Nerves were evident quickly as Boyer set, wound up and delivered. The pitch itself was in the dirt, 5 feet in front of the plate taking a one hop into the glove of Wenrich. It didn't matter. The two again came together with Wenrich still wiping his eyes from the overwhelming moment.
The two again embraced then stood along the first base line as Florence Mayor Diane Whalen presented Nathan a plaque and declared June 10 Nathan Boyle Day. The two then exited to the Freedom's dugout where Boyle would watch the game.
After the game, which ended in a Freedom loss to Evansville, Isaac said that Nate wanted to "come over to the host house and play video games and ping-pong" before waking up early Saturday to "play catch" with a flight simulator thrown in at some point.
Isaac went on to say that "this is something you just can't put into words". Adding, "we will share this bond until the day we both die" and "you never expect someone half your age to be your guardian angel, your hero".
The stadium lights turned off and with the fireworks beginning, the two walked side by side back to the Freedom Clubhouse after an otherwise forgetful performance on the field made up for by a night neither will ever forget.
Written by Erik Lake, RCN contributor