HOUSTON – A 10-year-old boy who is battling cancer got a big surprise from his favorite baseball team when Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve and pitcher Lance McCullers stopped by Texas Children's Hospital to visit him.
Joseph Fleming, 10, of League City, was diagnosed with a rare cancer in his liver and lungs. His family and friends were trying to find a way to cheer him up. They wanted him to somehow meet some of his favorite Astros players.
Joseph's Little League coach, Billy Flagel, reached out to KPRC 2 about Joseph's story. That's when it took off.
The story spread quickly on Twitter. McCullers even replied to the KPRC 2 tweet by saying, "We will make it happen."
Not too long after the story was shared, a spokeswoman with the Astros contacted KPRC 2 and asked for Joseph's contact information.
So imagine how Joseph felt when Altuve and McCullers showed up at his hospital room.
"We're living every parent's nightmare right now and just to have something like this happen and to watch him smile and lift his spirits. It's more than we can ask for," Joseph's stepfather, Jeremiah Price, said.
McCullers and Altuve knew outfielder George Springer is one of Joseph's favorite players too, so then came the second surprise: a pair of Springer's game-worn cleats.
Thank you, Houston! We did it! You helped make Joseph's dreams come true. KPRC2 Jake Reiner was there when Houston Astros' Lance McCullers and Jose Altuve surprised Joseph at Texas Children's Hospital with a bag full of goodies! #PrayersForJoseph http://bit.ly/29XyP6LPosted by KPRC2 / Click2Houston on Tuesday, July 26, 2016
Like McCullers, Joseph aspires to be a big league pitcher. McCullers showed Joseph how to hold a changeup.
To prove he wasn't all talk, Joseph took the imaginary mound in the hospital's hallway to pitch to Altuve. Joseph then got a special mound visit from McCullers before he faced the player with the best batting average in the majors.
Altuve was badly fooled on a slider away and Joseph got the strikeout!
Joseph got Altuve to swing and miss on a 2-0 curveball! pic.twitter.com/ncZqOqhpqz— Houston Astros (@astros) July 26, 2016
Jake Reiner: Did your batting average go down a little bit just then?
Jose Altuve: It might. He struck me out twice. Good thing that doesn't count for the season.
It may not have counted, but Joseph said he will never forget that moment.
Altuve told us he'd like to come back to Texas Children's Hospital and bring more of his teammates.