SAN DIEGO -- Longtime Padres reliever Craig Stammen spent part of his Monday at Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego. Stammen was there to see a child who has shown plenty of fight in his young life.
Jackson Lane, 8, had his second open heart surgery on Thursday, a six-hour-plus procedure to replace the pulmonary conduit and valve, to repair the fracture on his sternum, to elongate arteries and to ensure his breathing tube is not obstructed.
Jackson is the son of Andy Lane, the Cubs’ bullpen catcher from 2010-13 and a Minor League utility player from 2005-07. Stammen, currently on the Triple-A injured list after tearing a right shoulder capsule during Spring Training, and Lane were teammates in the Nationals’ system.
Jackson’s fight has been aided by the Baseball Assistance Team, which provided grants to cover his surgeries in 2015 and last week. Countless ballplayers and their families have been helped by BAT, which is “dedicated to assisting members of the baseball family who are in need” through charitable contributions, including financial grants, health-care resources and rehabilitative counseling.
The Padres’ support for BAT extends beyond Stammen’s hospital visit. Before their series opener against the Pirates on Monday night at Petco Park, the Padres were presented with the Bobby Murcer Award -- given to the teams that lead each league in donations to BAT during its annual Spring Training tour. (The White Sox are the AL honoree in 2023.)
The BAT tour this past spring raised $3.8 million from 1,700 players, coaches and team staff members.
“This group’s generosity allows BAT to support those in some of their most trying times year after year,” BAT president Buck Martinez said in a news release. “Baseball truly is a family. And when you’re a family, you take care of those who need it most.
“I would like to extend an extra display of appreciation to the Padres and White Sox for their continued support. Both of these organizations have lived up to the spirit of our late friend Bobby Murcer. It is our ambition to make him proud and continue his legacy every day.”
The Padres saw firsthand how the donations can help. Jackson was released from the hospital following Stammen’s visit -- several days earlier than doctors expected.