Chase Field

Now this is the kind of story that will make you smile. If it doesn’t, please check to see if you still have a heart or please resign from the human race.

Verna Martin is 101 years old. She lives in an assisted living facility, the Arizona Pioneers’ Home in Prescott. She has become a big-time fan of the Arizona Diamondbacks, and never misses their games on television. However, she had never been to a game in person.

Living in an assisted living facility, you can imagine it’s not easy for her to get around.

That changed last week. Gov. Doug Ducey’s staff met her on a visit to the Pioneers’ Home, and they learned she was a D-Backs’ fan. Gov. Ducey and his staff arranged for her to finally get to Chase Field to see a game in person.

Martin had the time of her life at the D-Backs’ Aug. 20 game against the Colorado Rockies. She was seated behind home plate, where she got to meet Gov. Ducey and received a special “101” jersey. She received a “throwback” jersey from D-Backs’ great Luis Gonzalez. Among the players who stopped by to meet her were Jake Lamb, Nick Ahmed and David Peralta.

The icing on the cake was the D-Backs won, 8-7.

All the players and the ballpark she had only seen on television were now right in front of her.

Martin said she never thought she’d get to see a game in person. She added she hopes she can come back in 2020.

She may very well be the D-Backs’ oldest fan. It’s hard to believe, but she was already 80 years old when the D-Backs had their inaugural season in 1998.

As I said, this is the sort of story that makes me smile. It’s nice to see when ball clubs, players and even politicians show they have a heart. It makes you think there still may be hope for us human beings.

As for hope for the D-Backs for the remainder of the season, here’s a quote from Thumper in Disney’s Bambi: “If you can’t saying nothing nice, don’t say nothing at all.”

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