EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. — For one Illinois teen, baseball is life. And throughout the years, one person could frequently be spotted cheering him on from the bleachers — his grandmother.
Marilyn Seavers loved baseball almost as much as her grandson, 19-year-old Zach Seavers. An avid St. Louis Cardinals fan, Marilyn Seavers devoted countless hours playing catch with her grandson, driving him to and from various tournaments, cleaning uniforms and attending games, according to the Belleville News-Democrat.
"She was more than a grandma for me and my sister. We were like friends," Zach Seavers told the Belleville News-Democrat. "We'd go to movies together, she took me shopping for homecoming, we played a lot of pranks on each other. Whenever we had a game, she was there."
Zach Seavers was recruited to pitch for Lewis and Clark College, where he began attending last fall, according to Inside Edition. But when his grandmother was given a terminal lung cancer diagnosis, her aggressive chemo and radiation treatments left her too weak to leave her home.
"I was trying to be hopeful, hoping she could make it out to a game or two," Zach Seavers told Inside Edition. "She was always asking about the team. She was always really interested in how the team was doing."
In March, it became clear that time was running out. So Zach Seavers came up with an idea — if his grandmother couldn't come to him, he'd have to bring the game to her.
So he asked his teammates if they'd be willing to dress in uniform and join him for a special game in his grandma's backyard, a request to which they happily obliged.
"She was stuck in her bed and she wasn't even able to move around her house very well, so I knew if I could bring something like that to her, that would mean a lot to her and to the family," Zach Seavers told Inside Edition.
He told his aunt, Vicky Richmond, to set his grandma up in a wheelchair at her bedroom window, sunglasses at the ready, according to the Bellevue News-Democrat. When Richmond pulled up the blinds, Marilyn Seavers was greeted by her grandson and his team, ready to play an epic game of Wiffle ball.
"She shed some happy tears and sat there in disbelief," Richmond told the Bellevue-News Democrat. "I get choked up every time I think of it. What an amazing, loving gift these boys showed Zach and his grandma."
Zach Seavers made sure to throw out a few pitches, just for good measure.
It would be the last game Marilyn Seavers would ever see him play — she died just two weeks later on April 2, surrounded by her family. She was 78.
"It meant a lot to me to be able to pull that together for her," Zach Seavers told the Bellevue News-Democrat. "If I had a pair of dirty pants after a game, I'd give them to her and they'd come back spotless. Now that I have to wash my own pants, I really realize how much time and energy she put into supporting us. She did all that for us, so it was the least I could do for her."