Chris Singleton has been the face of hope and forgiveness in the wake of the Emanuel AME Church shooting on June 17 which claimed the lives of his mother, Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, and eight others. Yesterday, Singleton thought he was taking his message of forgiveness to New York for an appearance on the TODAY show, but it turns out there was a surprise in store for him and his brother and sister.

You probably remember Singleton’s remarkable appearance just two days after his mother was killed during Bible study, urging love in the aftermath of the shooting at a prayer vigil on the field where he plays outfield for the Charleston Southern Buccaneers. Or maybe you saw him on ESPN’s E:60, interviewed by Bob Woodruff.

But during the segment on TODAY, an emotional Tamron Hall introduced Chris’ heartbreaking story, she told him that they had a little surprise for him. As part of New York Yankees’ “Hope Week,” big leaguers Alex Rodriguez, Dellin Betances, and CofC grad Brett Gardner joined Singleton on set, inviting him and his siblings to throw out the first pitch before last last night’s game in the Bronx. But that was just the beginning.

After lunch with the Yankees and a little sightseeing, Chris found his name listed on the batting practice lineup just after all-star catcher Brian McCann. Stepping out of the clubhouse, awestruck as he walked to the cage, Singleton took a few rips before ultimately knocking a couple balls to the outfield seats in Yankee Stadium. “No big deal…” he joked on Twitter.

Then just before the game, Chris, flanked by his brother and sister tossed in the first pitch in unison ahead of the game as the Yankees’ special guests.

“It’s kind of like a little dream I just woke up from—and I’m still dreaming,” Singleton told ABC News 4.


Cover photo from @Yankees