PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – It was quite the end-of-the-school-year surprise for some young Phillies fans at St. Laurentius School in Fishtown. Phillies first baseman Rhys Hoskins made a surprise visit along with a little Phillies swag.
Only the Phillie Phanatic can stir up this kind of electrifying energy among children. Well, maybe one of the Phillies’ players can as well.
Students at St. Laurentius School got the surprise of their little lives on Monday when Hoskins popped in during a morning assembly.
Nine-year-old L.J. McKnight and his 6-year-old twin siblings, Keegan and Quinn McKnight, brought their favorite player to school with them for an end-of-the-year celebration.
“I think I used to go to sleep with my bat so baseball always seemed on my mind,” Hoskins said.
L.J. is a pitcher on his little league team who kept a big secret from his classmates.
“My oldest son is one of the biggest Rhys Hoskins fans and I went on the Phillies Charities and saw it was an auction event we might be able to win,” Lawrence McKnight, L.J.’s dad, said. “Luckily I was able to win the event and here we are today.”
After a little dance party and a ceremonial first pitch, L.J. got a little Phillies swag – a signed jersey and baseball card from Hoskins.
The kids also got some valuable advice to dream big from a big-league star.
“It’s obviously cool for the kids to get to have the assembly toward the end of the school year,” Hoskins said, “everybody’s getting anxious for summer break. But it’s also just a reminder that we have a great platform to give back. To be part of the community that gives so much to us, it’s a game at heart.”
“It’s hard and it will knock you down and knock you down,” Hoskins said. “As long as you continue to keep getting back up and remember that having fun is the most important thing.”
The “Take Rhys Hoskins and the Phanatic to School Experience” is part of the Phillies Charities Inc.
Lawrence won the experience and donated it to his mother, who is the principal at St. Laurentius School.