I was getting ready for bed one night in January and was flipping through Twitter. I saw an exchange between my uncle, (the one who took me and my brother to games all through our child and teen years) and Jesse Barfield.
My uncle is the ultimate Blue Jays fan and has been since the first ball was thrown in 1977. Jesse tweeted about winterfest and my uncle casually replied it was too cold for him to get to the Rogers Centre. Jesse replied that he would bring him a coat. My uncle didn’t reply. Too shy. I replied that he is size medium tall. Jesse asked about a hood. I said he should wear one but he doesn’t. He said he would bring a coat!
Listen to Jesse Barfield on Outta The Park
The next day I DMd Jesse to tell him that he may just be having fun and that’s perfectly awesome, but my uncle doesn’t spoil himself. He’s a huge blue Jays fan and he’s the reason my brother and I learned so much about baseball so early. Jesse wrote back (which had me shocked!) He said he was going to buy the coat the next day and would get a detachable hood. I said thanks, told him he was amazing and that was it……..Until early January Jesse messaged to tell me he bought 5 coats for my uncle all for a different level of cold weather. He said he didn’t want the publicity so would put them in a garment bag and leavet them at the hotel in the morning so my uncle wouldn’t feel embarrassed. He said it wasn’t charity, it was “just because I want to bless him!”
The day of winterfest I was on a trip in Nashville and I looped my brother Hugh into the DM. Jesse wrote my brother’s name on the garment bag. Hugh and my uncle went to get it and they were floored. 5 gorgeous jackets with detachable hoods. All for a different type of temperature in Toronto, and stuffed at the bottom of the garment bag was a blue Jays hoodie. Hugh and my uncle went to winterfest, took pics, then went to have a beer. Both were in shock about how amazing this man is. They never got to meet Jesse but they felt his presence.
Through the power of twitter we found a hero who really is a hero! Jesse messaged me later to make sure it all went well. He gave me permission to tell this story but not out of bragging rights. In a way, I feel we are family and he will always have a place in the Carter family. In this day and age when many heroes are proven to be pretty bad people or people of poor choices, how lucky am I to know a real hero, if only through twitter and decades of watching baseball?