Sportress of Blogitude

Andrew McCutchen receives souvenir from boy he visited in hospital (pic)

Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen is well-regarded in MLB circles for the great works he performs off the field related to his many charitable endeavors. A visit to an ailing boy in the hospital has come around full-circle for McCutchen in a heartwarming way he never could have predicted.

McCutchen earlier this year paid a visit to Matt Groeber, a young fan who was battling a brain abscess, at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. Due to McCutchen’s thoughtful act, Groeber recently responded in kind by sending the ballplayer a touching letter along with an incredible souvenir.

Groeber has recovered well enough to make a triumphant return to the baseball field. Remembering McCutchen’s generosity, he decided to pass along a ball he hit for a home run during a recent ballgame. The Pirates superstar on Monday passed along a pic of the letter and home run ball in a post to Facebook.


The letter reads, as transcribed by Big League Stew:

Dear Andrew McCutchen,

This summer I suffered a brain abscess and spent most of my time in Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. During my stay I was lucky enough to meet you when you visited to do art with the kids. Every night I looked forward to watching the Pirates and was thrilled to know you were coming to visit. Baseball is my favorite sport and I was not sure if I would ever be able to play again. Your visit helped inspire me to get better.

I am [feeling] better now and playing baseball again. This past weekend I played two games and hit three home runs. I am sending my first home run ball to you as a thank you.

Thank you again for the visit and picture you drew me in the hospital.

Your Friend,

Matt Groeber


McCutchen clearly was incredibly touched by Groeber’s correspondence — not to mention the incredible souvenir — writing in the Facebook posting:

Matt – thank you for the HR ball… and the autograph! More importantly, I’m so glad you’re doing better and healing. also thanks to Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC for the work they do for these kids. this was an amazing letter to receive today. You’re the true hero Matt!


(top image via CBS Sports)