SAN FRANCISCO (AP) –– Bryan Stow hollered “Play ball!” and the sellout crowd roared.
Stow, the San Francisco Giants fan brutally beaten outside Dodger Stadium on opening day of the 2011 season, did his part to get Game 4 of the World Series started Saturday at AT&T Park.
From a wheelchair near San Francisco’s dugout — and with Giants third base coach Tim Flannery and reliever Jeremy Affeldt by his side — Stow hollered, “Welcome to the Kansas City Royals and your San Francisco Giants! Whoo! … Play ball!”
Flannery kissed Stow on the head.
“We are so thrilled to be here tonight,” Stow’s mother, Ann, said in a statement. “This is the first World Series game that Bryan will be able to remember since his accident. He is so appreciative of all the support Giants’ fans have shown him throughout this journey. He feels like he is part of the team.”
Stow also attended Game 2 of the 2012 World Series at AT&T Park. After he was assaulted in a parking lot outside Dodger Stadium on March 31, 2011, he spent months at a Los Angeles hospital in a medically induced coma. Stow sustained serious brain injuries during the attack.
In late January, Flannery presented the Stow family with $96,000 to help with Bryan’s care as the father of two continues to deal with traumatic injuries and brain damage. Flannery and his band, The Lunatic Fringe, held four sold-out Northern California concerts last offseason benefiting Stow. All dollars from purchases of Flannery’s 11th album, “Outside Lands,” released last November, go directly to Stow.
Stow followed in the footsteps of some celebrity company Saturday. Rock star Huey Lewis shouted “Play ball!” on Friday before Game 3 of the World Series, and Hall of Fame 49ers quarterback Joe Montana handled those duties prior to one game of the NL Championship Series against St. Louis.
“For those of us in L.A. the night of the horrific incident, tonight is a great blessing,” Giants CEO Larry Baer told The Associated Press. “It’s a testimony to Bryan’s will and a beautiful community of support.”