LANGLEY- If you build it, they will come. And they did.
Hundreds of people from the Whidbey Island community and beyond attended the unveiling of the newly renovated South Whidbey baseball field and more importantly shared in the magic of Colton Wilson’s wish.
The 16-year-old cancer survivor was honored with a ceremony at South Whidbey High School Friday night.
Wilson, who was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma in July 2006, was granted a wish by the Make-A-Wish Foundation earlier this year.
His one wish?
To fix up the ball field he and his teammates play on.
Sporting his Falcons letterman’s jacket and his No. 51 Falcon’s jersey, the teenager who went from not wanting any attention to becoming a “media darling,” as Master of Ceremony Jen Mueller of Fox Sports Northwest described him, received a plaque that will remain on the field as a memory of the wish. He also was presented with a watch from Jewelers for Children and a special audio tribute by Wilson’s favorite ex-Mariner, Dan Wilson.
Not only do Dan Wilson and Colton Wilson share the same last name, they also share the love for the same position – catcher.
So how did Colton respond to all the gifts and festivities? By saying, in typical teenager fashion, “That’s cool.”
He finally opened up a bit telling the audience, most sitting on brand new, shiny bleachers that came courtesy of his wish, “Thanks everyone. This field is pretty amazing and I’m looking forward to playing on it.”
And more and more its beginning to look like that will be a reality come next spring.
Wilson has two more doctor appointments this month and if things look as good as they have, he could have his Hickman line removed in less than a month.
The Hickman line is an intravenous catheter that is in Wilson’s chest and is used to administer chemotherapy treatment.
“Then I’ll be free,” Wilson said.
Wilson was able to get back onto the field Friday throwing out the ceremonial first pitch and playing in a two-inning game that pitted the Falcon’s players against the South Whidbey staff.
“It felt good,” Wilson said.
Wilson batted third and played third base, a position he is likely to play in the future as crouching down behind the plate could give his leg too much stress.
He singled in his only at-bat.
“I can’t wait to have my leg healed up,” Wilson said as he signed autographed baseball cards that were made by the Make-A-Wish Foundation and had his photo with story on the back.
For those in attendance, the night was not just about baseball.
South Whidbey head coach Dave Guetlin said it best in his speech: “It isn’t about baseball. He’s given us all a way that we should live our lives … He’s given us all a chance to make memories and have dreams.”
For the teenager that started out wanting to help a school and instead did all of that and more, his wish came true and his fields of dreams became a reality.