NORTH CAROLINA – U.S. Air Force service member returns home from a six-month deployment and knocks it out of the park with an emotional surprise at a Carolina Mudcats baseball game.
Tech. Sgt, Lance Daigle looked the part in a catcher’s mitt and full uniform to catch the opening pitch at a baseball game last week in Zebulon, as his unsuspecting children looked on from the other side of the pitcher’s mound.
Cameron, 11, and Karley, 13, approached the mound believing they won an opportunity to throw a pitch in the “VIP Experience” raffle, reports Yahoo! News.
After both kids threw strikes, they walked up to the plate to meet the catcher and discovered a familiar face once Daigle removed his catcher’s mask!
Daigle, who was known to frequently enter his family in various online surveys and competitions, received a text from his daughter about winning a raffle while he was overseas.
“I was getting ready to go to bed and she texted me to call her and said, ‘We got this thing but I don’t think it’s real,’” Daigle said of Karley, who opened a notification about the winning prize on April Fool’s Day. “I said, ‘Yeah, I filled that out.’”
Behind the scenes, Daigle emailed the Carolina Mudcats about wanting to surprise his kids after his wife came up with the idea.
“This could be my last deployment before I retire so she and one of her friends started to think about a surprise,” said Daigle, a 19-year Air Force veteran. “They thought of the Mudcats because we’ve been to games and they’re big supporters of the military.”
Immediately, the Carolina Mudcats got to work organizing the first-pitch family reunion, which involved sending Daigle’s family pretend winning raffle tickets and a catcher’s uniform to pull off the home run surprise.
“And then we just hoped for the best from there because with the military sometimes things happen,” Daigle said. “But I made it back on the day I needed to.”
The heartwarming reunion was clearly a home run with hardly a dry eye in the stands, according to a Mudcats spokeswoman.
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