ST. LOUIS – Sometimes the smallest gesture elicits a big, beautiful response.
Stan Davidson, a lifelong Cardinals fan who resides in central Illinois, shared a wonderful moment between his daughter, Gabby, and pitcher Adam Wainwright.
Stan loves the Cardinals with all his heart. He admittedly wears his emotions on his shirtsleeve. That enthusiasm has been passed down from Stan and his wife, Missy, to 10-year-old Gabby Davidson.
Last Friday, the Davidsons drove 170 miles from Washington, Illinois—just east of Peoria—to Busch Stadium to watch the Cardinals take on the San Francisco Giants.
Though the Cardinals lost the game 8-2, the Davidsons stood outside Busch Stadium waiting to see if any players might be interested in signing Gabby’s baseball that the family bought that evening.
Players have autographed things for the family in the past, Stan says. But it’s not a monetary thing, he stresses; the merchandise goes into his “fam cave” in the basement.
Stan says a few players stopped while leaving the parking lot Friday night to sign Gabby’s ball and items for other fans: Andrew Knizner, Ryan Helsley, and Harrison Bader, as well as first base coach “Stubby” Clapp. But it was the appearance of a Jeep with dark-tinted windows that got the Davidsons anxious.
With the headlights on and the dark windows, it’s difficult to see who’s behind the wheel, Stan says. When Wainwright rolled the window down, the Davidsons lept with joy. Gabby passed Waino her ball and he signed it.
Stan’s animated personality and Gabby’s jubilation brought a smile to Wainwright’s face, who gave Gabby a kind word and a fist bump before driving off the lot.
“I’m starting to tear up!” Stan exclaimed. “I love that man. I love that man!”