While visiting his grandparents on Long Island, 4-year-old Jonas Wan learned of a break-in at the Riverhead Little League concession stand.
The Connecticut boy felt badly for the players who had their money and equipment stolen.
So — with the help of his parents, Mark and Erin — Jonas took the $1.91 in change he had in his piggy bank and put it in an envelope with one of his baseballs and a note that read:
“I would like to share my toy money with them. I can share my baseball with them. Sorry. Jesus loves you.”
Click for more photos from the opening ceremonies.
That act of kindness was rewarded Friday evening, when Jonas was given the honor of throwing out the Riverhead Little League’s first pitch of the 2014 season.
With members of the league’s 31 teams watching, Jonas wound up and threw out the ball from the pitcher’s mound to cheers from the crowd. Afterward, players walked up to Jonas and high-fived him. One asked for his autograph.
Before his big moment, Jonas said he wasn’t nervous. “It was cool,” he said after the pitch, demonstrating his techinque. “I threw it like this.”
His family, which traveled from the Hartford area for the afternoon, was also treated to a night’s stay at nearby Hotel Indigo. The Little League gave Jonas a Mets jersey — his favorite team — and a bat and ball signed by Mets legend Mookie Wilson.
Riverhead Little League president Tony Sammartano said that when he first opened the envelope, he thought someone was playing a prank on him. Then he read the note, written on red construction paper.
“It kinda gives you a lump in your throat,” he said. “It just shows that there’s good people in the world. Something like this deserves us to honor him.”
The Riverhead Town Board issued a proclamation praising Jonas’ “good citizenship.”
Jonas said he was just doing what Jesus taught: love your neighbor.
“We’re just humbled,” said his father, Mark Wan. “[We're] honored they did this … so a little boy could realize that sharing is important.”