A nine-year-old girl in Florida was surprised by her father at the Tampa Bay Rays game, as he returned home from Afghanistan. On Thursday night, the Rays blew a two-run lead in the ninth inning in their loss to the Boston Red Sox, but the outcome of the contest was an afterthought to Alayna Adams.
Adams was given the honor of being chosen to throw out the first pitch of the game. According to the Tampa Bay Times, Adams was told she was selected from among several military families. Little did she know, the United Service Organizations and the Rays had collaborated to give her the surprise of a lifetime.
Before she took the mound, the girl’s father, Lt. Col. Will Adams, appeared on the video screen at Tropicana Field. The lieutenant promised he would see his daughter soon, though she had no idea how soon it would actually be.
After Adams short-hopped the throw home, the man behind the plate took off his catcher’s mask and revealed himself to be the girl’s father. She immediately ran into his arms when she recognized it was her dad, who had returned home from Afghanistan.
The 40-year-old Adams came back to the United States on Wednesday. However, he stayed in a hotel room for the night so that he could surprise his daughter. He arrived home after spending most of the past two years away from his family.
Alayna and her mother embraced Will for about 30 seconds, as they had no idea that he was the man behind the plate wearing the Rays uniform. Watch the video below to see the first pitch.