ST. PETERSBURG -- Twelve-year-old Parker Lentini got to met his hero, Ben Zobrist, Saturday afternoon at Tropicana Field.
Lentini, who lives with systemic juvenile arthritis, loves baseball and is a huge Rays fan, so when the Make-A-Wish Foundation afforded him the opportunity, he chose to meet Zobrist as his wish.
"Asking to meet a famous person or professional athlete is one of our biggest wish requests at Make-A-Wish Foundation," said Lisa Andrews, regional director for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Lentini and his family arrived to Tropicana Field by limousine at approximately 1 p.m. ET to have lunch with Zobrist and then meet up with the other Rays. The pair played catch on the field, and Lentini got a tip from Zobrist after he threw a ball over Zobrist's head.
"I threw it way too high for him and he couldn't catch it," Zobrist said. "So he said, 'If you aim small, you miss small.' That helped."
Zobrist enjoyed the time he spent with Lentini.
"When you get a chance to bring that smile to his face, and his whole family ..." Zobrist said. "To joke around with him. Just see the high spirits and the way that he carries himself, the attitude with the difficulties and struggles he has on a daily basis. It was neat to see how he handles himself.
"This let's get to know each other a little bit here. And that's why you walk away from it and you're impacted a little bit by the family and the whole situation, and you just walk away from it thinking about how strong a little kid like that is to be able to carry himself the way he does. He seems like a really bright kid."
On the whole, it was a pretty good day for the youngster.
"Yeah, best day ever," Lentini said.