Published July 24, 2013
Wearing a uniform, and his mask down, one man at the edge of Raley Field in Sacramento could be just any catcher ready to crouch into the box at the start of a game.
The children walking to the pitcher’s mound could be any kids plucked from the River Cats crowd to throw out the ceremonial first pitch.
But instead of any player and any children, they were father and son and daughter about to reunite Tuesday night after being separated by dad’s year-long deployment to Afghanistan.
While 13-year-old Summer Hereth seemed to recognize her dad right after he caught her brother’s low pitch and raised his mask, it took a minute for 10-year-old Devin to realize Sergeant First Class Jim Hereth was there in the flesh.
"My sister hit me, 'Devin it's him' and I was like 'oh what!' I felt like I was running. I didn't know if I was dreaming," said Devin.
Their reunion was something their father had dreamed of, but was able to pull together with just one phone call last week to the team the minor league team the Sacramento River Cats.