This Alabama grandfather went viral after leaving a sentimental letter to the future owner of a bucket of baseballs that he once pitched to his son and grandson. "If you are a father, cherish these times. You won't believe how quickly they will be gone," Randy Long wrote in his letter.
After leaving a sentimental note to the potential owner of a bucket of baseballs which he once tossed to his son and grandson, an Alabama grandfather went viral.
The moving note, written by Randy Long and posted by his grandson Ethan Anderson on Twitter, was left on top of a bucket of balls donated by Long outside the Alabama batting cage, ABC News reported.
Long explained in his note that the baseballs were free and that he wished anyone would get as much gratification from them as he did with his son and grandson years earlier, all of whom are now adults.
"Hope someone can use some of these baseballs in the batting cages," Long wrote. "I found them cleaning out my garage. I pitched them to my son and grandson for countless rounds."
"My son is now 46 [years old] and my grandson is 23 [years old]," he continued. "I am 72 and what I won't give to pitch a couple of buckets to them. They have both moved away."
Long left a special piece of advice for the future owner, who he wished was a dad himself, to complete his post.
"If you are a father, cherish these times. You won't believe how quickly they will be gone. God bless," he wrote. "P.S. Give them a hug and tell them you love them every chance you get."
On Twitter, Anderson described how sad it made him, along with the pictures of the letter and the baseball bucket.
"My grandad left an old bucket of balls at the batting cages we used to go to with this note on them," he tweeted. "I’m not crying, you’re crying."
He later told ABC News about his thoughts, adding that the reason he posted the pictures was due to the surprising response he and his grandfather shared.
"When I first saw the note, it made me tear up a little bit because my granddad is not usually a very emotional guy, so when I saw that side of him it made me a little emotional as well," Anderson explained to the outlet. "So that was special for me and that’s really why I decided to post it."
Anderson's post got more than 29,000 retweets and 220,000 views since posting the pictures on Twitter Monday. Many users have replied and encouraged Anderson and his grandparents to go with the diamond.
"I hope you go visit your grandpa and give him the biggest hug and tell him how very much you love him," wrote one user. "And oh yeah have a catch with him."
"Please move closer and pitch countless rounds again with him," someone else urged.
My grandad left an old bucket of balls at the batting cages we used to go to with this note on them.... I’m not crying, you’re crying pic.twitter.com/zlQFwNq1R2— Ethan Anderson (@TheBigE_21) September 28, 2020
Later, the University of Alabama alum replied to those tweets, reassuring everyone that he would have time for Long to play ball.
"Damn I didn’t expect this. I appreciate the love," he tweeted. "I’ll be going to the cages with him soon don’t worry."
While he didn't believe the pictures would go viral, Anderson told ABC News that he fully understood why they were doing so.
"We loved all of it, reminding people about the days they had with their dad or their granddad and just to never take those moments for granted," he said.
My dad and I played catch well into his 70’s and my 40’s. Dad passed away in February. I would do anything to throw the ball with him one more time. This was awesome.— Rob Sine (@robsine) September 30, 2020
Image Credit: ETHAN ANDERSON