BOSTON (CBS) – As the crowds roared for Big Papi’s home run in Friday’s game against the Yankees, the loudest cheers came from six-year-old Maverick Schutte in Wyoming.
He knew that game-winning homer was for him. David Ortiz sent him this message before the game.
“I am going to hit a home run for you,” said Ortiz in the message.
Maverick is part of a Red Sox-loving family; his step-dad is from New England. WBZ-TV’s Katie Brace spoke with the family via Skype.
“When I showed Maverick the video, he jumped on top of me and said, ‘This is the best day of my life,'” said Maverick’s mom, Marti Linnane.
The game helps Maverick focus on something besides being sick.
“Throw the ball and like this (makes noise) like Big Papi does it,” said Schutte.
He has a rare congenital heart defect, and relies on a feeding tube and a ventilator. The Children’s Miracle Network put the family in touch with former Red Sox slugger Kevin Millar, who went to Big Papi.
“When you can put a smile on a child that is sick, especially what Maverick is going through, it’s something that is priceless,” said Ortiz.
Maverick has not stopped smiling.
“What time did I go to bed?” Schutte asked his mom. “You didn’t go to bed until 2 in the morning,” Linnane replied.
“He was so excited,” she added.
He sent a video to Ortiz, who he hopes to someday thank in person.
“Big Papi, you never let me down and you’re the best player in the Red Sox game,” said Schutte.
Maverick has undergone more than 30 surgeries and has another one scheduled. He would love to visit Fenway.
Before Saturday night’s game versus the New York Yankees, Ortiz talked about his meaningful hit.
“It’s something that I would say is just God putting his hands (on me),” he told WBZ-TV’s Dan Roche.
“We all know that it’s not that easy to come through like that, but I’ve been able to get things done like that on a few different occasions. I guess I have been lucky.”
The designated hitter recalled a similar experience he had with a little girl named Allison Lundy, who he hit a homer for on her 10th birthday in a 4-0 win against the Oakland Athletics in the second game of a doubleheader on Aug. 27, 2011.
“When she got a little better…we celebrated her birthday here in the family room,” Ortiz said. “And that day I told her I was going to hit a home run for her and I end up doing it. She ended up passing away later on.”
Big Papi also told Millar’s kids he would hit a home run for them and he did in a game versus Texas a couple of years ago.
Of the homer he hit for Maverick, he added, “When things like that happen, it makes you believe that there’s something special out there that we should believe on.”
Ortiz said Millar was crying when he showed him the video with Maverick.
“It was really touching,” he said. “When I got home, that was when I really was like ‘Wow, I can’t believe this really happened.'”
Millar told Ortiz that Maverick’s parents haven’t seen their son that happy in a long time because he has been sick for quite some time.
He says he can’t even imagine what Maverick is going through, adding that he wouldn’t know what to do if anything like that happened to one of his own children.
WBZ-TV’s Katie Brace contributed to this report.