I came across this story. It's probably just a story, but still touching: At a fundraising dinner for a school that serves children with learning disabilities, the father of one of the students delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by all who attended. After extolling the school and its dedicated staff, he offered a question: When not interfered with by outside influences, everything nature does is done with perfection. Yet my son, Shay, cannot learn things as other children do. He cannot understand things as other children do. Where is the natural order of things in my son? The audience was stilled by the query. The father continued: I believe that when a child like Shay, who was mentally and physically disabled comes into the world, an opportunity to realize true human nature presents itself, and it comes in the way other people treat that child. Then he told the following story: Shay and I had walked past a park where some boys Shay knew were playing baseball. Shay asked, "Do you think they'll let me play?" I knew that most of the boys wouldn't want someone like Shay on their team, but as a father I also understood that if my son were allowed to play, it would give him a much-needed sense of belonging and some confidence to be accepted by others in spite of his handicaps. I approached one of the boys on the field and asked (not expecting much) if Shay could play. The boy looked around for guidance and said, "We're losing by 6 runs and the game is in the 8th inning. I guess he can be on our team and we'll try to put him in to bat in the 9th inning." Shay struggled over to the team's bench and, with a broad smile, put on a team shirt. I watched with a small tear in my eye and warmth in my heart. The boys saw my joy at my son being accepted. In the bottom of the 8th inning, Shay's team scored a few runs but was still behind by 3. In the top of the 9th inning, Shay put on a glove and played in the right field. Even though no hits came his way, he was ecstatic just to be in the game and on the field, grinning from ear to ear as I waved to him from the stands. In the bottom of the 9th inning, Shay's team scored again. Now, with 2 outs and the bases loaded, the potential winning run was on base and Shay was scheduled to be next at bat. At this juncture, do they let Shay bat and give away their chance to win the game? Surprisingly, Shay was given the bat. Everyone knew that a hit was all but impossible because Shay didn't even know how to hold the bat properly, much less connect with the ball. However, as Shay stepped up to the plate, the pitcher, recognizing that the other team was putting winning aside for this moment in Shay's life, moved in a few steps to lob the ball in softly so Shay could at least make contact. The 1st pitch came and Shay swing clumsily and missed. The pitcher again took a few steps forward to toss the ball softly towards Shay. As the pitch came in, Shay swung at the ball and hit a slow ground ball right back to the pitcher. The game would now be over. The pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could have easily thrown the ball to the 1st baseman. Shay would have been out and that would have been the end of the game. Instead, the pitcher threw the ball right over the 1st baseman's head, out of reach of all team mates. Everyone from the stands and both teams started yelling, "Shay, run to 1st!" Never in his life had Shay ever run that far, but he made it to 1st base. Everyone yelled, "Run to 2d, run to 2d!" Catching his breath, Shaw awkardly ran towards 2d, gleaming and struggling to make it to the base. By the time Shay rounded towards 2d, the right fielder had the ball. The smallest guy on their team now had his chance to be his team's hero. He could have thrown the ball to the 2d baseman for the tag, but he understood the pitcher's intentions so he too, intentionally threw the ball high and far over the 3d baseman's head. Shay ran toward 3d base deliriously as the runners ahead of him circled the bases toward home. All were screaming, "Shay, Shay, Shay, All the way, Shay!" Shay reached 3d base because the opposing shortstop ran to help him by turning him in the direction of 3d base, and shouted, "Run to 3d! Shay, run to 3d!" As Shay rounded 3d, the boys from both teams, and the spectators, were on their feet screaming, "Shay, run home! Run home!" Shay ran to home, stepped on the plate, and was cheered as the hero who hit the grand slam and won the game for his team. That day, said the father softly with tears now rolling down his face, the boys from both teams helped bring a piece of true love and humanity into this world. Shay didn't make it to another summer. He died that winter, having never forgotten being the hero and making me so happy, and coming home and seeing his mother tearfully embrace her little hero of the day!