BLACKSBURG, Va. – To see things through a child’s eyes, it’s a perspective we could all use, and Arthur Erwin’s view is one of any softball fan’s dreams. The five-year-old has the best seat in Tech Softball Park, right behind home plate, to watch a team he calls his sisters. A group who has taken him under their wing.
“We brought Arthur to his first softball game in March,” Arthur’s mom Abby said. “We love supporting the Hokies, and it was a really nice weekend, so we came in and weren’t sure where the seats were, but we were right behind home plate.”
“I think Coach Pete [D’Amour] saw him sitting there, and early in the game he brought him an autographed softball from Keely [Rochard] and came up and shook Arthur’s hand and said ‘Thanks for being here!’ and then he’s kind of been loved ever since.”
Rochard is one of the players who has loved him. “Arthur’s the best, he’s our biggest fan, I love that he is there all the time.”
The crowd favorite, touching the heart of Tech Softball Park. He can be seen leading the infamous “Let’s Go Hokies!” chant in between innings with his friend, Chip.
A moment of joy that is followed by a chant right back from the crowd- “We love Arthur, we love Arthur.”
“To hear 1,000 people cheering for your baby boy, it’s hard to describe,” Abbey said. “It was really emotional and it just makes me feel proud of the people that we get to be around, and the community that supports Arthur.
His joy never wavering, despite having cerebral palsy, which has caused limited mobility on his left side, and keeps him in a wheelchair.
“They don’t make it seem like he is extra work, or a burden, they just do what they need to do to help Arthur feel comfortable, it’s really special.”
Arthur has been the North Star for a Virginia Tech team who has had immense success this season.
“He provides some perspective to us and our kids, they love him,” head coach Pete D’Amour said. “If you’re sitting there in the blazing heat, and the kid is sitting there in a wheelchair, just smiling and having fun, your problems aren’t as big as you think they are.”
“We’re overwhelmingly grateful, we’re so thankful to be his parents,” Abbey said. “And to get to learn with him, we just choose to be positive, right? We could choose to be sad and overwhelmed, but instead we choose to be grateful. We get to learn a little bit everyday, and he’s one of the coolest little humans we’ve ever met.”
And he has perhaps reminded us of the goodness of childlike wonder.