Judge's special moment with cancer survivor

Yankees outfielder meets young fan who pulled rare Topps baseball card

August 29th, 2021

OAKLAND -- Mason Ferrulli gleefully celebrated last week, pulling a one-of-a-kind Aaron Judge insert card from a foil wrapper. Then, the cancer survivor got to meet the Yankees slugger in person.

Judge met with the teenager before Thursday’s game at the Oakland Coliseum. Judge and Ferrulli are both Northern California natives; Judge hails from Linden and Ferrulli from Ripon, cities that are about 25 miles apart.

“Wow. You want to talk about someone that’s tough and resilient and strong and continues to have a smile on his face -- that’s Mason,” Judge said. “It’s a pretty special story.”

The insert card, which Judge autographed for Ferrulli, was a 1-of-1 from the 2021 Topps Diamond Icons set. Ferrulli’s heartwarming reaction was captured in an unboxing video, after which he screamed: “Oh my God! Dad, no way! Our prayers were answered.”

Judge also presented Ferrulli with a pinstriped jersey with his No. 99 on the back, signing his name and inscribing, “Keep being the strong leader you are. Never give up!” Judge told Ferrulli that he is “a great inspiration to so many people you haven’t even met.”

Ferrulli was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2017, when he was 10, and continues to battle.

“It’s a true fighter right there,” said Judge, who delivered the game-winning hit in that night’s 7-6 Yankees victory. “I was just excited and blessed to be able to meet him and have him out here for a game. He brought me a little bit of luck the other night.”