ST. GEORGE- Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts and BYU football teams can all wear blue, but they made an effort Wednesday to ensure the St. George boy who is recovering from a serious head injury on the Little League World Series site feels less blue.
Betts, the Major League star, is Snow Canyon Little League star Easton Oliverson’s favorite baseball player, according to his family. On Wednesday, the Dodger sent a video to Oliverson.
Oliverson’s family said the moment the 12-year-old boy who was recovering from a traumatic brain injury at a Pennsylvania hospital saw the video, he cried.
“I just want you to know that we are praying for you, thinking of you and hope to see you soon my man,” Betts says in the video sent to Oliverson’s family via Facebook.
Videos sent to Oliverson by Betts and the BYU football team can be seen at the start of this story.
According to his family, Oliverson fell the top of a sleeper head in dormitories at the World Series venue in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, early Monday. Oliverson’s team, the first ever from Utah to reach the top of Little League, plays its first game of the tournament on Friday. The bunk beds in the dorm have since been removed in favor of single beds.
Oliverson remains in the intensive care unit at Geisinger Janet Weis Children’s Hospital in Danville, Pennsylvania, but is no longer sedated and has begun speaking with medical staff and his family.
“He waved at (his parents) Jace and Nancy and said the words ‘I love you,'” the family said in a statement.
Along with Betts, Oliverson also received love from his favorite football team, the BYU Cougars, who also video messaged him on Wednesday.
It wasn’t just one or two players. It was pretty much all of them.
Cougars catcher Hobbs Nyberg noted in the video that he himself is from St. George — he was a football and baseball star at Dixie High.
“We and the team really wish you the best, and we’re proud of you and know you’re going to do well,” Nyberg said. “We love you.”
There’s also love being sent from the Southern Utah community for the young outfielder nicknamed “Tank.”
Stickers with the words “Miracles for Tank” begin to appear on vehicles in town. The stickers were created by local resident and family member, Shanna Bundy, who distributes them for free via text message. 435-313-7426.
The Snow Canyon team itself sells official team hats at this link, and they say a portion of the proceeds will go both to Oliverson’s recovery and to help the families of the Snow Canyon players with the cost of the trip to Williamsport. People can also donate to the family directly on the Venmo link. @miraclesfortank.
The “sweetest” fundraiser for the Oliverson family may take place at a local ice cream parlor on Thursday. Handel’s homemade ice cream donates a portion of its 6-10 p.m. sales, at all of its Utah locations, including St. George, to the Oliverson family.
Ed. Note: When making charitable donations, it is advisable to seek professional advice for tax advice and investment risks.
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