Step Up to the Plate: Creek Fire Victim Inundated by Kindness from Across California

Last month, the state of California was devastated by a series of wildfires, including the Creek Fire. This abominable disaster swept through Fresno County at rapid pace, causing hundreds of thousands to lose their homes, belongings, and, in some cases, their lives. One of many to feel its effects was 9-year-old Reese Osterburg, who had to part with her prized collection of baseball cards. A huge fan, she had been collecting for several years and had amassed a total of more than 100 cards.

Fortunately, the Fresno County fire crew brought attention to her loss on social media, asking if anyone was willing to share happiness and hope with Reese and her friends, whose baseball season had also been cancelled by the pandemic. They write that Reese’s swing was “as smooth as butter” and cited her as one of the best players in the local league. Reese is a die-hard Giants fan, and her favorite player is Buster Posey. “He’s a catcher and I’m a pitcher, so one day I think it would be awesome if I could pitch to him,” Osterberg commented.

Fortunately, San Jose’s Kevin Ashford “stepped up to the plate” (no pun intended) and donated a whopping 25,000 cards! He told NBC Bay Area, “I got to thinking about what I had in the garage…I thought, you know, what if instead of selling them on eBay, I’m going to donate them. I’m gonna donate them all and put a smile on a little girl’s face.”

The kindness didn’t stop there. This heartwarming story even reached 2012 MVP and 6-time All Star Buster Posey, who surprised Reese on Zoom shortly before her cards were delivered. He added on a package shipped specially from the Giants, including a baseball he’d signed himself and a pack of Topps cards featuring him on the wrapper. Although Reese might have an abundance of baseball cards, she isn’t keeping them all to herself. She started a website known as Cards From Reese, where she shares her love for sports with other children. She especially wants to send some to the Children’s Hospital of Central California, where she recovered from a serious health condition in 2017.

According to her, encouragement from family, friends, and famous names can help one endure challenges. Her story just goes to show that kindness is a chain reaction – one small thing you do now could impact someone near you, or in a different part of the world; maybe even in the future!

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