PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It was a dream come true Thursday night for a longtime fan of the Pirates.
Not only did she get to go to PNC Park and take in a game with her family, but she also got to meet her favorite player. The Twilight Wish Foundation found out about Jane Rhodaberger’s wish and made it happen.
For the 83-year-old Pirates’ fan from Butler County, it was her first-ever walk across the Clemente Bridge.
She was joined by some of her 13 children, 40 grandchildren and 37 great-grandchildren. She almost didn’t make it across. But then they reminded her why she was here.
“I wanna meet Walker. That’s why I’m here. I wanna see the game. But you know why? Because Neil Walker’s here,” Rhodaberger said.
And sure enough, a half hour before game time, the Pirates’ second baseman stepped onto the field and greeted his biggest fan.
First, she wouldn’t let go of him. Then, came the kisses, three of them.
KDKA’s Paul Martino: “How was it?”
Rhodaberger: “How was it? Kissing Walker? Are you goofy? It was wonderful!”
For Walker, well, let’s just say he was a good sport.
“I didn’t have much to do with this. It was all her. She wanted to meet me, I’m very honored to be a part of the whole thing,” said Walker.
It turns out today is actually Walker’s birthday. And Rhodaberger didn’t forget about it. She handed her favorite Bucco a birthday card.
Martino: “Is there money in the card? Did you check?”
“I haven’t checked yet; hopefully, there’s a couple hits in there maybe. That’s all I’m looking for,” said Walker with a laugh.