The second annual MLB Field Of Dreams Game delivered plenty of emotion for fans of the game on Thursday night.
However, FOX delivered a genuinely inspiring story moments before the first pitch. When Tom Rinaldi appeared on the screen, I knew we were all ready to ask who was cutting the onions.
Rinaldi’s story followed Roy Gleason, a purple heart veteran who got a chance to do something that every man in the country could ever dream of.
Field of Dreams introduced us to Moonlight Graham, a player who appeared in 1 MLB game.
This led Tom Rinaldi to explore the story behind Roy Gleason, a player who recorded 1 MLB hit before leaving the game to serve our country overseas, and who was later awarded a Purple Heart. pic.twitter.com/VnVqyFaN5o
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) August 11, 2022
Gleason was drafted straight from high school in 1960 by the Los Angeles Dodgers and spent three seasons in the minors before joining the World Series club in 1963. In 1963, Gleason had one plate appearance where he had only Major League hit that resulted in a double.
After the season, Gleason was sent back down to the minors for three years before being drafted to fight for his country in the Vietnam War.
Happy 79th birthday to Roy Gleason. Gleason has a fascinating story. He doubled in his one MLB at bat in 1963, leaving him with a 1.000 career BA and earning him a WS ring. He was later drafted into Vietnam and received medals for his service, including a Purple Heart. pic.twitter.com/L57FB1iUTb
— Dodger Cards (@dodgers_cards) April 9, 2022
Gleason’s story takes another cinematic twist when the former Major Leaguer heartbreakingly loses his World Series ring. While Gleason was honored with a Purple Heart for being injured during his service, during Rinaldi’s interview, anyone could see that the loss of his World Series ring was devastating.
Gleason’s former team didn’t let him down when they invited him back to celebrate his service to this country. A surprise gift that involved a World Series ring was the perfect ending to his story.
Gleason has lived a full life and has all the medals and rings to prove that life is never what you expect it to be.