Less than a week after several MLB teams and players vowed to send 9-year-old Oakland Athletics fan Loren Jade Smith baseball memorabilia to replace what he lost in the wildfires that have been devastating Northern California, the young boy's wish came true -- and then some.
By Thursday, the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum's mailroom was overflowing with boxes containing different kinds of memorabilia for Smith. The A's then transported the baseballs, jerseys, bobbleheads, baseball cards and more to a local park, where Smith and his youth baseball team laid eyes on the generosity of others from around the country.
Waiting for Smith and his friends at the park was A's catcher Bruce Maxwell and manager Bob Melvin, who each signed jerseys for the young fan. Smith and Maxwell also got to play catch together.
A's president Dave Kaval recorded a personalized message at the event, thanking everyone who stepped up to help Smith and his family.
Smith's fun didn't end there, either. He'll have the opportunity to attend every A's home game next season after Kaval gifted him season tickets.
-- Nick Ostiller