There is always some skepticism when you hear about a major leaguer hitting a home run at the request of a fan, but one of the feel-good stories of the weekend came from such a moment.
Howard met a 7-year-old boy only identified as A.J. from Center Valley, Pa., on Friday night before the Phillies hosted the Miami Marlins. The story goes that A.J. asked Howard to hit a homer for him.
The big first baseman did just that in the second inning when he smacked his fifth home run of the season. "Oh my gosh! That was probably for me," A.J. said during an interview, lending credence to the home-run request.
A.J., who has Leber's congenital amaurosis and is legally blind, was at the game with his Braille teacher, who was being recognized as part of a teacher appreciation night. A.J. presented Howard with a wristband to help raise awareness for LCA when they met before the game.
The story gets better. It was A.J. who nominated his teacher from Hopewell Elementary School for the honor.