On July 3, the Buffalo Bisons hosted the Syracuse Chiefs as part of the Independence Eve Celebration at Coca-Cola field.
Standing front row was 11-year-old little leaguer Ty Barber.
Sitting in the same section was 96-year-old World War II veteran Richard Snethen, dressed in full uniform.
Between innings, Ty caught a ball from the first baseman.
Richard witnessed the moment and remarked to his son, "There's a happy boy!"
Little did Richard know what would happen next.
When the game was over, Ty — unprompted by his parents — went up to Richard and gave him the ball.
"I'm trying to be a role model," Ty later told Channel 2. "And, we really have to honor our veterans."
"That was the most moving thing," Richard later recalled. "One of the treasured moments of my life, to tell you the truth."
"It makes you really feel like there is some hope for America."
Richard and Ty took a picture together and went their separate ways.
Over the next few weeks, Richard was so moved by the experience that he wrote a poem about it.
Ty Barber caught the fielder's ball,
Holding it close 'til the game was over.
Then, with a hug and a beaming smile,
He gave his prize ball to a WWII vet on the aisle,
The "Greatest Generation" is now being challenged
By a yet to be named generation.
The Bisons won, six to two
And both Ty and I - WON TOO!
The poem is framed next to the ball and his photo with Ty.
Nearly two months later, the Bisons invited Richard and Ty back to the ballpark — this time, to watch a game together.
Ty signed the ball for Richard, and Richard gave Ty and his family copies of the photo and poem.
In the middle of the third inning, the Bisons honored Richard and Ty on the video board in center field and they received a standing ovation.
Two complete strangers, separated by 85 years of life, united through one heartwarming act of selflessness and kindness.
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