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NC State baseball finds inspiration in young fan

Posted May 14, 2012

— There is no question as to who the most popular guy in the North Carolina State dugout is.

"Every time he comes (to a game), the kids just flock to him," said head coach Elliot Avent of the Wolfpack’s most idolized spectator.

Harrison McKinion is 10 years old and he loves Wolfpack baseball. Nine innings at Doak Field are the perfect escape for McKinnon - who hasn’t had the best year.

Young fan inspiring NC State baseball Young fan inspiring NC State baseball

"Being out here with these guys, it's so much fun for him and encourages him a lot,” said Harrison’s father, Steve. “It was Dec. 9; he was a little pale and had some pain in his legs. He wasn't feeling
real well. They told us he had leukemia."

It didn’t take long for Harrison’s story to spread in the community and to the NC State baseball team.

"I went to his house to see him around Christmas time and took some goodies over there,” Avent said. “The smile on his face is something I will never forget."

The players are equally as touched by Harrison’s story and find inspiration in the 10-year-old.

"Nobody should have to go through that,” said catcher Danny Canela. “Being as strong as he is, it’s
something special to see." N.C. State Logo More NCSU Stories

Outfielder Ryan Matthews echoed Canela. “Just to have him there is a reminder, and the relationship in general, it really just puts life in perspective."

The bond between the players and Harrison are based on mutual admiration, though.

"They're really nice to me and treat me really good," Harrison said.

Avent said that Harrison is a big part of the Wolfpack team and can claim some responsibility for their success. Harrison’s father is equally as grateful to the team.

"These guys could be doing a thousand other things, but they are spending their time with Harrison," Steve McKinnon said.

14 Comments

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  • Got Peart Jun 5, 10:58 a.m.

    I love seeing stories like this - don't care which team it is. It's great seeing these guys/girls take their time to make the lives of others more bearable. Why can't we see more of this on the news as opposed to the gloom and doom.

    For as much bad, there is just as much, and probably more good going on in the world.

  • axepack May 15, 9:35 a.m.

    Great story, keep up the good fight kid.

    *Awfully dusty in here.

  • wonderwoman 65 May 15, 9:20 a.m.

    My GOD bless you Harrison and I agree we need more inspiring stories. I am glad the NCSU coach is a caring person that puts the feelings of a young sick child at the top of his agenda!!! Proud to say I Back the Pack!!!!Great job Coach and players for opening your hearts! I hope you go all the way to the finals this year!!! GO PACK!!!

  • ThePackisBack May 15, 9:06 a.m.

    I wish there were more stories like this in the news! Get well soon! Go Pack!

  • pskunk119 May 15, 8:46 a.m.

    Great story. Go Pack!!! Go Harrison!!!

  • The Gooch May 15, 8:40 a.m.

    Great story about a great Pack fan! Keep fighting, Harrison! We're all pulling for you!

  • GunnyGoesBaaaarf May 15, 6:45 a.m.

    What an inspiring story! Prayers for a speedy recovery, Harrison. We're all on the same team, hoping you beat a very nasty opponent.

  • bigdee015 May 14, 9:33 p.m.

    If this doesn't touch you then you have a problem.

  • kkevin7048 May 14, 9:15 p.m.

    This is great news to see rather then seeing other area schools cheating.

  • jdupree May 14, 9:08 p.m.

    Sometimes a hero comes in a small package!

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