The Story Behind This Signed Baseball Will Probably Make You Cry

Brittany Wong

Two weeks ago, Lindsay Marcy’s grandfather, Jim Gish, had a very simple request after being admitted to the hospital: The 96-year-old wanted to play catch with his great grandsons, ages 11 and 8. 

Gish was at the hospital due to episodes of confusion that were attributed to dementia and his pain medication. Marcy, her boys Chase and Travis, and her daughter Ava were there by his side.

A week after making the request, Gish died. To pay tribute to her beloved granddad, Marcy posted this on the Love What Matters Facebook page: 

My grandfather was in the hospital last week and while admitted he was having intermittent episodes of confusion. Some of it was related to his mild dementia and some of it was the pain medicine.

At one point, he asked, ‘Have they given me the go ahead to play?’

I said, ‘The go ahead to play?’

He said, ‘Yes, did the doctor give me my permit to play?’

I said, ‘Play what??’

He said, (in a somewhat annoyed tone) ‘Lindsay, I want to play ball with the boys.’

He was referring to my two sons. They are 11 and 8. Choking back tears, I just smiled and said, ‘Of course you can play.’

Now, here we are exactly one week later.

My grandfather was cremated this morning at 10am. All on their own my sweet boys decided to put this in the casket with him...

It says “Come play anytime. Love, Chase and Trav."

The beautifully told anecdote has garnered over 13 thousand “reactions” on Facebook and it’s left plenty of people teary-eyed. 

“OK, I immediately burst into tears,” one woman wrote. “What a wonderful gift you and your boys gave him. What a wonderful gift he gave them.”

Another added: “An autographed ball by Babe Ruth could not be worth half as much as this ball is.” 

Jim and his great grandkids Travis and Ava. (Lindsay Marcy)

In an interview with HuffPost, Marcy, who lives in Overland Park, Kansas with her family, said she was “humbled” by the response to the post. She also shared more about the significance of baseball to her boys and their great grandparents. 

Their great grandma Mary died from cancer in 2012. Before that, though, she and Jim could be found cheering on the boys at all their baseball games. 

“My oldest son was the first great grandchild and, much like myself, had an instant bond with both of my grandparents,” she said. “During his first year of baseball my grandparents won an award for the most dedicated fans. They never missed a game, even after my grandmother’s cancer diagnosis.” 

All three kids cheered Jim up during his hospital stay.  (Lindsay Marcy)

Chase and Travis' decision to sign the baseball and leave it with their great grandpa floored their mother. 

“After such a significant loss, it was a breath of fresh air to see them wanting to honor him in such a thoughtful way,” Marcy said. “I am overwhelmingly proud of the sweet gentlemen my sons are becoming.” 

Chase and his great grandfather share a hug.  (Lindsay Marcy)
  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.