• Pirates host boy nicknamed 'A-Hay' for Make-A-Wish event


    Aaron Ashby enjoyed a perfect day for baseball at PNC Park on Friday after signing a contract with the Pirates.

    The kicker? Aaron is just 10 years old.

    The boy from Garrett County, Maryland, known as “A-Hay” signed a major league contract with the Pirates as part of his dream from the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

    The large scoreboard in right field was lit up with “Welcome Aaron," but what Ashby, who's battling leukemia, wanted the most was to meet his hero, Josh Harrison.


    And he did, when walked right into the batter’s box and took pitches from the fan favorite nicknamed "J-Hay."

    Harrison was impressed with A-Hay’s hitting ability.

    “He had some really nice swings from my vantage point. Looks like he swung the bat pretty well," Harrison said. "He gave me a couple back at the L-screen. I told him if the L-screen wasn’t there, he might’ve hurt the pitcher.”

    Ashby also got to spend some time in the locker room, and even got a locker of his own, complete with a nameplate.

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    His family was overwhelmed by the experience.

    “That was great. He's been looking forward to that for quite some time now. I'm just glad they made it happen for him,” said Gary Ashby, Aaron's father.

    It was also a great day for Harrison.

    “Baseball doesn’t define us," he said. "We’re human beings, but if what we do brings light to somebody’s day, I’m a firm believer in using anything we can to lighten up people’s day.”

    Aaron and his family will be guests of Pirates owner Bob Nutting at Seven Springs Mountain Resort for a two-night stay.


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