Posted May 17, 2013

Rays’ first-pitch father-daughter reunion goes viral

MLB
Alayna Adams, 9, is reunited with her father, Lt. Col. Will Adams, disguised as a Tampa Bay Rays catcher for the ceremonial first pitch.  (AP)

Alayna Adams, 9, is reunited with her father, Lt. Col. Will Adams, disguised as a Tampa Bay Rays catcher for the ceremonial first pitch. (AP)

Alayna Adams, a 9-year-old from Dunedin, Florida, thought she was taking the mound at Tropicana Field Thursday night to throw out the first pitch as part of a USO program honoring military families.

Alayna and the crowd first watched a video message from her father, Lt. Col. Will Adams,  on the video screen. He was due to come home Monday after a year in Afghanistan. He wished his daughter and family well and said he would see them soon.

After the video, Alayna tossed the baseball to a man wearing a Rays uniform, including a catcher’s mask and pads, behind the plate. When the man took off the mask, he revealed himself to be her father. She ran into his arms to the roar of the crowd before the Rays and Red Sox took the field.

The video below has since gone viral.

From the Tampa Tribune:

Adams, 40, had arrived Wednesday at MacDill Air Force Base. Wednesday night he stayed in a hotel room, alone, awaiting the next day’s surprise.

“That was the hardest part,” he said later. “Being back home and not being able to see them.


16 comments
lenjoylife
lenjoylife

It was not a media event, it was an event for america. Like 911, we all kind of put in the back of our minds as time goes by, But, war is real and now. It helps remind us to remember those who are still there and also to remember that they have families. Thanks Rays for creating a moment for a family and reminding us all of the freedom our families have because of the time these soldiers spend defending that freedom.  MAy God Bless this family and all the families that are parted from their loved ones for our freedom.

kres
kres

Why make your family wait to see you so you can play some dumb trick and maybe get on TV? When I returned from Iraq all I wanted to do was see my family and friends as soon as possible.

A-Snydes
A-Snydes

NO disrespect to soliders, their bravery should be recognized! That being said, why cant you get through your heads that soldiers should not be overseas to being with!! They aren not protecting your rights or freedoms, rather they are occupying land they should not be so that corporate elites can exploit these countries natural resources. Do you really think if US soldiers werent in Iraq, Afghanstan etc. America would be under attack? Wake up people, bring ALL the soldiers back!

6marK6
6marK6

I guess it gets a little more mundane the 10,000th time you have seen some video clip or commercial about a deployed serviceman reuniting with their family. Especially when instead of a personal moment between two people, it becomes a spectacle for others to see. That seems like a grab at attention and promotion.

jeff24k
jeff24k

Man if that doesn't make your eyes welt up a little bit then you aren't human. 

6marK6
6marK6

 @kres You hit the nail right on the head! This was an attention grab and silly. I would be sprinting to get home so I could hug my kids, not playing a part in some staged media event. Of course, because you are military, the idiots in here do not jump on you for speaking the truth.

6marK6
6marK6

 @A-Snydes You are way too intelligent for this room. The people in here think war is a John Wayne movie.

JeffShields
JeffShields

@6marK6

WTF? You have watched 10,000 video's? Hey dude, that definitely sounds like a mundane life.

MichaelS2
MichaelS2

 @6marK6

 Obviously, you have NEVER been in the military, been deployed and separated from your family and loved ones.  You are absolutely clueless.  Remember who protects your right to write stupid comments like this.

The Edge
The Edge

 @6marK6 Perhaps we need more videos of random people killing other random people.  Because that doesn't just become a "spectacle" and "a grab at attention and promotion".

kres
kres

 @6marK6 Yeah, just don't get it. I was not married or had kids at the time, but still could not have dreamed keeping family and friends waiting an extra day from seeing me just stage some media event.

 

Now that I am married and do have a child, no way I would wait one more second than possible to get home to them.

6marK6
6marK6

 @JeffShields Didn't finish watching them, but they lead practically every news and entertainment show there is.

6marK6
6marK6

 @MichaelS2 Yeah, tool, if I was separated from my family, the first think I would be thinking would be, hmm, how do I stage some kind of reunion at a baseball game. You are an idiot.

JohnEcash
JohnEcash

@kres @6marK6 It is not about you. Hard to accept I see, but are you really the type of person who looks down on a military father surprising his little girl? He wanted to do it his way, she loved it. End of story. 

biancaxsmith
biancaxsmith

@6marK6 @MichaelS2Key word being IF. You obviously have not.. get over it. And before the whole "Look who's talking" responses ensue, I have been through it and everyone choses to do it a different way. I had the newspaper come to the meeting of my daughter and her dad so that we would always have the news clipping for her to see since he wasn't at her birth. My choice! End of story!