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Mike Aviles on daughters tossing out first pitch: ‘My joy comes from my kids’

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It was an emotional moment at Progressive Field on Thursday night when Cleveland Indians infielder Mike Aviles assumed catcher’s duties during the ceremonial first pitch procession before the Tribe took on the New York Yankees. Tossing out the pitches before the game were Aviles’ four-year-old twin daughters, Adriana and Maya.

Adriana was diagnosed with childhood leukemia in May, and along with her sister, tossed their throws in a touching and emotional scene.

¬†Thursday’s events demonstrated just how much the Indians organization has rallied around Aviles throughout the ordeal.

“At first, I thought I was going to have to stop playing for the year and figure everything out at home,” he said. “Between the support I was able to get here from the front office, the team, the coaching staff, everybody, it made it really easy for me and my wife to sit down and think about what we needed to do as far as a family, what was going to be best for the family overall.”

Adriana is set to be transferred to a hospital nearer their home in Santa Clara, Utah, so Thursday night was perfect timing. And Aviles couldn’t be prouder.

“My joy comes from my kids,” he said. “I have three girls and a boy on the way. I enjoy just seeing them happy. It makes me happy. That’s what you want to do as a parent, you want your kids to be happy. You don’t want to see them crying. You want to see them always laughing and joking. When they’re having a good time, I’m excited.”

Aviles did mention that Adriana, who refers to her condition as having “sicky bugs,” is “responding well to all the treatments.”

The infielder took a 10-day leave earlier in the season to be with Adriana as she underwent treatment, but received full support from the organization.

“Fortunately enough, I was able to come back and they didn’t pressure me to come back. It was, ‘hey, take your time. We know you’re dealing with things. Sometimes life is more important than other things.'”

(top image via SI/Twitter)