Major-League Surprise Given To Wichita Man Whose Baseball Card Collection Was Stolen

By: Jason Tarr Email
By: Jason Tarr Email

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In between the roars of the crowd during Wichita State basketball's final home game, a special surprise introduction was taking place at Section 121, Row 1B, Seat 1.

That's where Christopher Fevurly and his son, Nolan, had been strategically seated by university leaders. Wichita State had given Chris and Nolan the tickets to the game for free.

As soon as the introduction of the senior players had finished on the court, a tall man carrying a brown bag walked up to Fevurly and his son. He leaned over and asked very simply: "Are you Chris?"

When he got confirmation, the man looked at Chris and said, "I'm Roberto Clemente Jr."

The son of the famous Pittsburgh Pirates player, Roberto Clemente, had come to the game to give Chris and Nolan something special.

Sports X Radio Host, Ken Thomson of Las Vegas, had seen KAKE's story on how thieves took Fevurly's Ken Griffey Jr. baseball card collection in January while he and Nolan were at the Fiesta Bowl. Thomson worked his connections and got in touch with Clemente Jr.

"I brought you something," Clemente Jr. said.

Out of his brown bag, Clemente Jr. pulled a Roberto Clemente Pittsburgh Pirates jersey for Nolan. For Chris, Clemente Jr. had a framed, autographed picture of Ken Griffey Jr. and Alex Rodriguez.

"I'm totally surprised, totally in shock," Chris said.

Then came the words Chris never thought he would hear.

"I have a message for you from Ken Griffey Jr.," Roberto Clemente Jr. said.

The message: Ken Griffey Jr. wanted to be there at the game in-person but couldn't make it. But he had a one more surprise planned to make up for it.

"I'm shaking," Chris said as he made way for Roberto to sit next to him.

The major-league surprise came at halftime.

With a university representative and Clemente Jr. leading the way, the group made their way upstairs in Koch Arena to the basketball office. Clemente Jr. picked up the phone to make a call, when it connected he hit the speaker button.

"Say hello to Chris and Nolan," Clemente Jr. said to the voice on the other end of the phone.

That voice belonged to Ken Griffey Jr.

"Hey what's up," Griffey Jr. said.

Chris smiled big and said back, "I just got a rush of chills down my spine you wouldn't believe."

For ten minutes, Chris and Nolan got to talk with the player he has idolized since he was a little boy.

"That was literally a dream come true," Chris said after the call.

It was also a special moment for Clemente Jr., whose father died in a plane crash while on the way to do philanthropic work in Nicaragua after a massive earthquake.

"One of the things that dad lived by and his model was: if you have the opportunity to make life better and you don't you are wasting your time on earth," Clemente Jr. said.

The look on Chris and Nolan's face proved he, Ken Griffey Jr., Ken Thomson, and Wichita State University had made their life better and shown them good can come from a painful experience.

"There are still good people out there. That's the best way to put it," Chris said. "That's the bottom line."

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