Baseball Star Puig Visits Jewish Camp for Kids With Cancer, Other Illnesses
JNS.org – Cleveland Indians outfielder Yasiel Puig had what he said was “one of the best days of his life” by visiting Camp Simcha, a Jewish camp for kids battling cancer and other terminal diseases in Glen Spry, NY.
On a day off in the series between the Indians and the New York Mets, the baseball star rented a helicopter to visit campers on Monday in the Catskill Mountains.
“It’s a little bit sad to see young kids that have been sick from a young age, like 7-14 years old,” he said. “But when you see them smile, and them hanging out and jumping to the music, you forget and everyone forgets that the kids are sick.”
Puig continued, “I never expected it to be this way. I said, ‘Oh, I’m going to visit sick kids. It’s gonna be more slowed down, sitting in the room, explaining about life, keep going, fight. I only said like two or three words because these kids never stopped. They were excited.”
He visited the camp after meeting Irv Bauman at a Los Angeles Lakers game in 2013 when Puig played for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Bauman’s grandson was working at Camp Simcha and asked his grandfather if the all-star could visit.
“[A boy] started talking about baseball, saying, ‘I love the way you play. Keep going, fight,’ ” Puig told MLB.com. “And I said, ‘Oh, I’m the one coming here to tell you to keep fighting and everything will be fine, and you’re the one telling me to keep going, fight and work hard’—and that made my day.”
“Today was one of the best days of my life. I want to thank so many people, starting with all of my new friends at @campsimcha. Thank you for welcoming me and giving me your smiles today. You are my inspiration and when I do good things on the field I will do it for you,” tweeted Puig.