SAN FRANCISCO -- The Make-A-Wish kids sure felt like VIPs when they were greeted by Vida Blue, Sharon Robinson (Jackie Robinson's daughter) and All-Star Futures players Henry Sosa and Brian Bocock with the Giants and Cameron Maybin with the Tigers. The Futures players arrived in their game jerseys and joked around with the kids before dinner.
"I'm excited I got to meet them," shortstop Bocock said. "It's great to be able to give back and especially to these kids."
The Futures players weren't the only ones drawing laughs at the reception. The team mascots burst in on the scene halfway through, dancing and clowning around much to everyone's delight.
The kids were also presented with personalized All-Star jerseys and loaded down with bags of goodies before being whisked off for a private tour of AT&T Park from top to bottom. They were to start with the press box and work their way down to the clubhouse and dugout.
Christopher Laub beamed from ear to ear and his cheeks turned red with excitement when heard they were headed straight for AT&T Park and would get the ballpark all to themselves. It marked the start of many smiles for the Make-a-Wish kids, who are in for a jam packed week of baseball dreams come true.
"You're going to win games, you're going to lose games, but for us it's an opportunity to win some of the hearts that really matter," Giants' executive vice president Larry Baer said.
The kids' schedule includes play time at the DHL All-Star Fan Fest, meet and greet with baseball legends and current All-Star players and a private suite for viewing of the Futures Game, Celebrity Softball, Home Run Derby and the grand finale, the All-Star game.
As long as the schedule includes time for Laub to meet with his favorite player Barry Bonds he'll be happy.
But it won't be the first time Laub gets to meet Bonds. They met almost two years ago, after Laub wrote Bonds a letter telling him to stay strong after knee surgery. Bonds was so moved by the letter he brought Laub out on the field with him his first day back and the two have stayed in contact ever since.
So it's not hard to guess which number Laub requested on the back of his jersey, 25, or which player he's most looking forward to seeing.
"I've been waiting a long time for this," Laub said. "Two and a half years."
All the Make-a-Wish kids have been waiting, and now the time has finally come for their wishes to become a realization.
Becky Regan is an associate reporter at MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.