Team lets special needs player get a hit in last bat of the season

U.S. & World

PHILADELPHIA, PA (CNN) — It was a moment a Pennsylvania baseball team will never forget.

Just minutes after giving a special-needs player a new bat, he stepped to the plate and made a hit that had everyone in the stadium stand and cheer…

It was the last hit of the last game of the season and the coaches told Joshua Groff he was up.

“It was probably one of the coolest moments of my life,” said player Grant Hershman 

“The best feeling I ever had in baseball to be honest with you,” coach Dwight Pulieri told WFMZ

Josh is a member of the Wanderers Legion baseball team.

He’s officially the bat boy, but his team will tell you he’s more of the backbone.

“He’s our biggest supporter. It’s really just nice to have somebody that enthusiastic about you and you succeeding,” said Hershman. 

“Just seems like a family to me,” Groff told WFMZ

So his family, his team, surprised him during their last game and told him he’d get the last at bat.

But before he stepped up to the plate, they replaced his bat with a special one they’d engraved put his name on.

“He started tearing up and everything like that,” said Pulieri

And then their favorite team member stepped up to the plate

Nobody knew if he’d get a hit. 

Nobody cared if he didn’t.

“I was like, ‘you know what, I’m just going to do it, and see how it goes,'” said Groff.

Maybe it was that bat. Maybe it was the crowd.

But most likely, it was his team that helped Josh knock it out of the park.

“I’ve been around baseball a long time and had this team for a long time. It’s the greatest feeling in the world,” said Pulieri. 

“It’s just a special moment for us and for the team. He’s equally a part – if not more even a bigger part – than any other player,” said Hershman.

When they’d finished mobbing him, they let Josh run the bases so he could end up right where he belongs.

“Back where I need to be. Home,” said Groff.

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