Mason Kosmoski plays third base for the Berkshire Red Sox 12-and-under baseball team, but that’s the only time you’ll catch him wearing a Red Sox jersey.
He’s a loyal New York Yankees fan who idolizes shortstop Derek Jeter, and he had long dreamed of seeing a game in Yankee Stadium.
That wish recently came true, and Mason got to see a much better game than he even imagined. It was a bright spot in what had been a tough year.
Mason, 12, of Muhlenberg Township was recently found to have a tumor in the right frontal lobe of his brain. He was having seizures as a result, and doctors feared that he might have cancer.
Knowing Mason was facing a potentially bleak prognosis, his mom, Aime Crawford, contacted Kids Wish Network.
The group granted Mason’s wish, which was prime seats at Yankee Stadium for him; his mom; his brother, Ethan Kosmoski, 10; and his stepfather, Eric Crawford, at the game July 9.
It was an awesome weekend from the start, with a penthouse suite in the fancy 70 Park Avenue Hotel, where their room was decorated with Yankees memorabilia and presents for Mason, who received chocolate milkshakes from room service.
A stretch limousine took them to the game, where Mason was to meet Jeter. But the previous night’s game was rained out, setting the stage for Jeter to become the first Yankee to reach 3,000 hits that day, and drawing scores of media. So the two shared a smile before a surge of reporters came between them, and Mason instead got autographs from other Yankee stars.
They took their seats just a few rows behind home plate and got to see Jeter play the best regular season game of his career in front of a frantic crowd.
Jeter singled his first time up, bringing him to 2,999 hits. His second time up he hit a home run, reaching the 3,000-hit club in style and sending the fans into a frenzy.
“Mason was just in awe,” his mom said.
Jeter ended the day with five hits in five at bats, including the game-winner.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen Mason smile as much as he did that day,” Aime said.
The best moment for Mason, though, was yet to come.
On July 27, he had brain surgery to remove the tumor, a procedure that went remarkably well. When Mason woke up in the hospital after the surgery, covered in his Yankees blanket, he immediately started talking about Jeter, a relief to his family.
The tumor was benign, and his recovery was fast. Even the autism he was diagnosed with has lessened since the surgery, Aime said.
Mason soon will start seventh grade at Muhlenberg Middle School and will play for the Berkshire Red Sox in the spring.
Soon a Yankees jersey and a ball autographed by Jeter will come in the mail.
And now when he watches his hero on television, he thinks back on the great day he spent with him.
“It was the most amazing weekend,” Aime said.
The Reading Eagle