Young Red Sox fan warms Chris Davis' heart

Note from 9-year-old helped break hitless streak

August 18th, 2019

BOSTON -- When 9-year-old Henry Frasca arrived at Fenway Park in April to watch the Orioles play his hometown Red Sox, he had a goal in mind.

Henry is a fan of the Red Sox. He’s also a fan of seeing people happy. Henry and his family had been moved by a Sports Illustrated article written last season about and his struggles. The longer Davis’ historic hitless streak grew, the more Henry wanted to reach out to the Orioles’ first baseman.

“He was in pain, and I just didn’t like that,” Henry said. “I decided to try to help him out.”

Henry penned a note in his father’s car on his way to the ballpark. After several determined attempts, he made his way near the Orioles dugout, where he passed the paper on to Baltimore coach Tim Cossins, who took a look at the note and delivered it to Davis, letting him know it was worth a read.

“There are two things I want you to know,” Henry wrote. “First, the way you play baseball has nothing to do with how good a person you are. But also, you have been so good; you have played in the MLB! You are great; don’t give up. We are rooting for you.”

Davis was moved. By that day -- April 13 -- Davis had reached 62 consecutive plate appearances without a hit. The words of the young baseball fan resonated.

“When I started reading it, I got a little choked up,” Davis said, sitting next to Henry in the dugout. “But I just thought, ‘You know what? Today’s the day, and I’m going to put his note in my back pocket, I’m going to carry it around with me.’ I had to go get a couple of Ziplocs because I sweat a lot. I threw it in a couple Ziploc bags, put it in my back pocket.”

Davis stepped up to the plate in the first inning and did something he hadn’t done since Sept. 14, 2018. He got a hit, reaching first base with the note in tow.

“As ‘Field of Dreams’ as it sounds, we were both positive he was going to come up in the first inning, we were both positive he was going to get a hit,” Henry’s father, Gabriel, said.

The Frascas didn’t know if Davis had, in fact, received the letter. They reached out to the Orioles to ask, and from there, a special meeting was put in motion. Davis wanted to get to know the kid behind the inspiring note, and invited Henry and his father to attend Saturday’s game, the Orioles’ first series back at Fenway Park since April.

“[The note was] talking about how it didn’t really matter who I was on the field, but what kind of person I was,” Davis said. “That’s really what touched me. It kind of made me step back and take a look at the bigger picture. Just knowing that he was keen enough to pick that up and bold enough to say something about it, it meant a lot to me.”

Henry got the full Major League experience on Saturday. Davis greeted him in the Orioles dugout and took him on a private tour of the clubhouse, where he was given a T-shirt and hat. He’d need the gear for the batting practice he was about to participate in. Davis brought Henry out for warmups, and Henry manned left field. The 9-year-old quickly became a crowd favorite.

“I saw that catch,” Davis proudly said.

“I only made one catch but --” Henry said.

“You got almost a standing ovation,” Davis replied. “The crowd went nuts.”

The pregame experience reminded Davis of the excitement he felt as a kid going to games and seeing Major League players. It was an afternoon neither Davis nor Henry will forget.

“When I woke up this morning, my first thought was, “Oh my gosh, today I’m going to the ballpark,’” Henry said.

Davis replied, “Not just to sit in the seats, to actually play and hang out. It’s been a fun day for me.”

Said Henry, “It’s been one of the best days of my life -- easily.”