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Salvy & Stetson: Making Dreams Come True Through Baseball

Nathan Rueckert

Posted on September 07 2017

This amazing story was submitted by one of our fans.  Kristen - thank you for sharing your son's story with us! 

He smiles. He splashes. He plays the game with a contagious joy.

The 2015 World Series MVP Salvador Perez is a joy to watch on the diamond. He’s also a hero and inspiration to Stetson.

When Stetson was born, he would have easily fit in Salvy’s catcher’s mitt. Born at 30 weeks and weighing a mere 2.9 pounds, Stetson had a challenging start to life. Thankfully, Stetson grew strong and flourished. And seemingly from day one, Stetson’s passion for baseball also grew.

His first word was “ball.” His Christmas lists include baseballs, catcher’s masks, and mitts. Anytime his parents drove past a baseball field, he always looked to see who was playing and asked them to stop the car. One night, Stetson’s mom agreed to stop at the roadside park to watch the game. Even without his gear, Stetson mimicked the catcher on the field, pretending to be Salvador Perez, thanks to help from his mom.

You see, Stetson has cerebral palsy and can’t stand or walk without a walker. A man at the game watched Stetson with great interest, giving him his Royals hat and playing ball with him. Before the end of the game, the man handed Stetson’s mom his business card; he worked at “The Dream Factory.”

A week later, Mr. Dougan called Stetson’s parents and helped arrange a Dream Factory trip to Kauffman Stadium for Stetson and his family.

And a few short weeks after the meeting, Stetson was on the field at the K, being carried around by Salvy. Stetson met several other Royals’ players Drew Butera, Mike Moustakas, Eric Hosmer and was gifted a bag full of Royals souvenirs. Stetson sat in the dugout and drank water from the Gatorade cooler Salvy uses for his post-game victory celebrations and gave high fives to other players as they left batting practice. Stetson and his parents watched the game from seats right behind home plate; the Glass family also offered seats for the following two nights. It was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Now 5 years old, Stetson continues to love Salvy and Royals baseball. Baseball is always on TV and since most games last well beyond his bedtime, he has become quite skilled at sneaking out of bed to watch the game from just inside his bedroom doorway.

Stetson never leaves home without his bat-bag and no day is complete with a game of baseball in the backyard. He carries a Royals backpack to school and has already played two seasons of tee ball. Of course, Stetson is the catcher for his team, but number 13 wasn’t available. So, Stetson chose the number of his dad’s hero — 5, for George Brett. 

For dreamers and fans like Stetson who mimics Salvy’s smile, Salvy’s passion, and Salvy’s contagious joy, baseball is more than a game. Baseball is a lifestyle, an invitation regardless of age or skill level to play ball with a new friend, step on the field, and make dreams come true.

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  • PAtti DEWitt: September 12, 2017

    Stetson is a amazing boy, always smiling and full of energy. He also has amazing parents who have nurtured him to be the best , regardless of his handicap . They are a blessed family!

  • PAtti DEWitt: September 12, 2017

    Stetson is a amazing boy, always smiling and full of energy. He also has amazing parents who have nurtured him to be the best , regardless of his handicap . They are a blessed family!

  • Janet Ellis, NWMO Chapter, The Dream FACTORY: September 11, 2017

    It’s wonderful to see one of our kids lving his biggest dream posted on Facebook. Salvad Gor Perez has been good to us. Stetson made a great choice of dreams. Hopefully the posting will also put our name out there, since don’t spend any of the funds raised for ads rather than. Hopefully it will aid us to give wonderful memories to help face the bad things they face. Thank you

  • Ron Dougan: September 08, 2017

    I am the guy who first met Stetson at the ball park and set up the Dream with The Dream Factory with Salvy. Have became life long friends with the Alley family as he calls me Mr. Dougan, what a blessing they have been to our lives.

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