Jesus Garza, 94, has loved the Houston Astros for a long time. He was 39 when the team was founded in 1962.
Now, thanks to the kindness of a stranger, he’s going to knock a precious item off his bucket list when he attends Game 3 between his team and the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday.
Garza’s story caught the attention of local media in his hometown of Corpus Christi, Texas, earlier this week, when his seven sons and daughters started a GoFundMe campaign to get their dad to the big show earlier this week.
That’s when Ben Soltero de Martin, a former Corpus Christi resident and fellow Astros fan currently living in Pennsylvania, heard about Garza’s living wish.
“Mr. Garza, I heard you were a big Astros fan,” Soltero de Martin said during a phone conversation taped by KIII-TV. “I have two tickets I want to give you for Friday’s game. I want you to go to Houston on Friday and make sure they win, okay?”
The look on Jesus Garza’s face when he hears the news is absolutely priceless. Linda Benavides, one of his daughters, told McClatchy the tickets her dad received were on the first-base side, lower level.
His niece, Maggie Garza, said the tickets were valued at roughly $1,100. Standing-room-only tickets for Friday’s Game 3 were going for $669 on the secondary ticket market as of Thursday afternoon.
Benavides said her dad made it a family tradition to go to one Astros game a season when she and her brothers and sisters were growing up. Maggie Garza said he only stopped going to a game a year in 2009 after his wife lost her battle with cancer.
What a way to pick that tradition back up – this time with his granddaughter, Andrea Galvan, in tow.
“My dad is still in shock,” Benavides told McClatchy. “That was the most exciting day of the year for us as kids. He’s just so overwhelmed. He never thought in his life this would ever happen. Now he says the biggest item on his bucket list is to meet Ben and get to thank him in person.”