There is not much to smile about in White Sox land these days. The White Sox dropped a series to the lowly Orioles. Injuries continue to hamper the team, and Steve Stone is scoffing at the fan base for expecting a team in their championship window to be, you know, good.
Saturday afternoon was another miserable day at the ballpark, with one notable exception. Despite the White Sox dropping another game to the Orioles 6-2, Beau Dowling ensured it was a memorable afternoon.
Beau showcased the best swing of the afternoon during a special “Home Run for Life” ceremony before the game.
Beau is a seven-year-old boy diagnosed with high-risk neuroblastoma as a toddler. After enduring a stem-cell transplant, he underwent several rounds of chemotherapy, radiation, and immunotherapy. Recently, Beau was diagnosed with thyroid cancer for the second time. He underwent surgery early in June. It seems that if Beau didn’t have bad luck, he would have no luck at all.
Today we welcomed 7-year-old Beau Dowling for an ultimate day!
Diagnosed with high-risk neuroblastoma as a toddler, Beau battled through stem cell transplants as well as several rounds of chemotherapy, radiation and immunotherapy. He recently was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. pic.twitter.com/Y2jvcKh9UE
— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) June 25, 2022
Yet, there he was before the game running around the bases of Guaranteed Rate Field with a smile on his face. It was part of an “ultimate wish” for Dowling.
Both teams emptied the dugouts and lineup up down the first and third base lines to give Beau high fives as he ran the bases. Before rounding the bases, he showcased a swing that would make White Sox hitting coach Frank Menicno jealous. He was met with a standing ovation as he touched home plate.
Beau Dowling is our real life superhero. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/3VoEML5835
— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) June 26, 2022
Orioles’ first baseman Trey Mancini paid the Dowlings family a visit behind home plate. Mancini, who has had his own bout with cancer, offered some words of encouragement.
“I wanted to go over there after he ran the bases and just tell them that he was awesome,” Mancini said. “I told him that I had cancer two years ago, and I’m doing just fine now. And I know the same thing is gonna happen to him too. I just wanted him to know that.”
The Dowling family appreciated his gesture.
“Trey, he’s also battled cancer, and he just wanted to say a few words to Beau, and that was just amazing,” Beau’s father, Jim, said. “From what I heard, it was just ‘Beau, keep fighting.’ That was, to say the least…emotional.”
Beau also got to throw out the first pitch and gave the “play ball” call to kick off the game. The Andrew Wisher Foundation, a south side charity created to honor Andrew Wisher’s legacy, donated a $10,000 check to the Dowling family. Wisher created the charity to pay forward the acts of generosity he received before passing away from cancer in 2020.
The outpouring of love for Beau was heartwarming, to say the least. It was a true celebration of time and happiness that made everyone forget about the division and turmoil across the country.
“He’s gone through a lot ever since a year and a half, his third go-around with cancer,” Jim said. “He’s just a fighter, and today is just a beautiful day for our family, and we are proud to be here and celebrate. It’s just amazing for the Baltimore Orioles to come out of the dugout and the White Sox players to come out of their dugout. For Beau, this is outstanding.”
It has been a frustrating season for White Sox fans. But baseball is just a game. Beau’s courageous battle with cancer helps put that into perspective.