Before the Mariner’s opening game against the Astros -- one special super fan’s dreams came true.
Eight-year-old Sophia Robinson, who's fighting a life-threatening heart condition, got to run the bases. It was all thanks to one of her best friends, Mariners ace Felix Hernandez.
“We're really close,” said Felix Hernandez. “I mean, since I met Sophia she's brought a lot of life to me. We text each other, every time I see her she's happy. So, I love Sophia, she's a great kid.”
They first met in 2013. Sophia is from Anchorage, Alaska, but fell in love with Felix and the Mariners after repeated trips to Seattle for heart surgeries.
She had her first surgery when she was just one week old. Through Make-A-Wish Alaska and Washington, she got to beat him at a corndog eating contest, showed him her baseball card collection, gave him an autograph, and even played in the dirt together!
“She was out there playing in the dirt and she wasn't even talking, but she's so special man,” said Felix. “I mean when you try to put a smile on someone's face, it makes you feel really good.”
But today, she goes even bigger! She gets to be the one to essentially open Safeco Field for the season as the honorary, opening day base runner!
“Me and the Moose, we stretched first!” said Sophia.
And Felix gave her some final tips just before her big moment!
“He said ‘remember not to trip and don't, just take your time,’” said Sophia.
Sophia rounded the bases, waving and smiling the entire time – without a single misstep. And was welcomed with a huge hug from her pal Felix at home plate! She said her home run was all about focus.
“I was thinking do not pay attention to anyone!” said Sophia.
So, what could possibly be next? Maybe next year she'll be the opening day starter!
Read more about Sophia and Felix's special bond on Make-A-Wish's website.
Make-A-Wish Alaska and Washington
811 1st Ave #520, Seattle, WA 98104