Rochester family’s video tribute to dad shared by the Cleveland Indians


Video describes the bond between a daughter and her dad and their love of baseball

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Rochesterian Gary Smith was battling bladder cancer as he and his daughter Kelly watched their beloved Cleveland Indians reach the 2016 World Series. He passed away the next summer. 

She wrote an essay about what the team meant to their family, and for Christmas, his Kyle brother turned it into a video.

“It kind of started as a personal gift, but then we did share it online,” says Kyle. “We never thought it would get to this.”

They posted the video online and it quickly caught the attention of former Indians outfielder Rajai Davis, who hit a game-tying home run in Game 7 of the World Series.

Time passed and about a week ago, it was shared on the popular Axios Sports newsletter. The author, Kendall Baker, said the video touched his readers and himself.

“He responded, ‘I called my dad today to tell him that I love him and I’m guessing a lot of newsletter subscribers did the same,’ and that’s a really powerful thing,” says Kelly.

Eventually, the Indians found the video and posted it on their social media pages. The response was overwhelming, as people shared memories of their fathers, and those who knew Gary, shared some new memories to the family. 

“It’s really amazing to see the outpouring of love and support and to hear some awesome memories of my dad shared from people, maybe memories that I hadn’t heard yet,” says Kelly.

With sports at a standstill, those special moments are gone for now. The Smith’s are happy their story can fill a little bit of that void. 

“You see when it’s taken away that they’re always going to be a source of inspiration, hope, and positivity and we are missing that at the moment,” says Kyle. “So hopefully, this story bring a little bit of that light and that positivity back to some people.”

When the baseball returns and they can build some new memories, they’ll appreciate it that much more when it comes back.

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