CLEVELAND – Christmas may still be over a week away, but Indians hurler Shane Bieber wanted to make sure the holiday came a little early to some patients at the Cleveland Clinic.
On Monday, Bieber sent gifts over to the hospital and chatted with three patients ranging in ages from 6 to 21 via Zoom. Nurses at the Clinic wheeled around the cart full of presents to different rooms to give the kids a chance to choose some Tribe gear and toys, including an Xbox.
"I feel like I probably enjoyed it more than they did," Bieber said.
For 30 minutes, Bieber talked about an array of topics, including baseball, the holidays, Minecraft and football. Six-year-old Sterling was excited to show the Cy Young Award winner his Nintendo Switch that he got last year, while Connor, another patient, talked so much about his desire to start a YouTube channel if he gets a GoPro camera that Bieber requested the nurse update him if it happens.
When the camera was first handed to Connor, Bieber asked him if he had a favorite baseball player. When Connor responded by saying, “You,” Bieber asked if he had just said that because he was on the call. Connor said, “Yes,” which caused Bieber to burst into a belly laugh before he started listing some of his own favorite players.
A nurse then took the camera down the hall, waiting for 21-year-old Kyle to return to his room. While they waited, Bieber chatted with Kyle's mom and recorded a video message for her two youngest sons, who couldn't be at the hospital with her. When Kyle returned, he and Bieber engaged in a 10-minute conversation about the Browns and Ohio State football.
At the end of each call, Bieber wished the patients a happy holiday and explained that they could grab a gift off the cart that the nurses would bring around (or two or three, if they were good, he joked).
"It was awesome to just chat with these kids and to hear a little bit about them and their stories," Bieber said. "With this year going the way it has, it was fun to spread a little bit of holiday cheer with the patients and their families while just conversating and getting to know them."