In 2006, Devin Smeltzer, was a kid from southern New Jersey with bladder and prostate cancer that got to meet his idol Chase Utley, who was playing for the Phillies.
Devin beat cancer and 12 years after that first meeting, he crossed paths with Chase Utley again. However this time he was at LA Dodgers spring training, with Utley, as a player!
Smeltzer said, "When you think about the statistics of even making it to pro ball, it's almost impossible what happened... Me going through cancer, him being on the Phillies at that time and now the Dodgers and us crossing paths, statistically it's almost impossible. It's amazing."
Today I got to thank @chaseutley on behalf of St. Christopher’s hospital, my family,and all of philly. We have both come a long way since ‘06. On and off the field he leads and gives back. Thanks to the @dodgers for making this happen on a higher platform to get my story out and inspire. Looking forward to my strike out campaign this year and seeing what we can rally up to help out Katie’s Krusaders. Information to come! . . . . #catchcancerlooking #dodgers #phillies #inspire #survivor
This is a picture of Smeltzer meeting Utley back in 2006
Although he is not in the major league yet, Devin Smeltzer has used his story to inspire and help kids all over the country that are experiencing cancer. He says, "I try getting into the hospital wherever I'm at and just talking to kids with cancer. I told the nurses, don't hesitate to give my number out."
Hear about the incredible story of #Dodgers minor leaguer @alka_SMELTZer who survived cancer at the age of 9 and his special connection with a current Dodger.— SportsNet LA (@SportsNetLA) March 30, 2018
This story & more on an all-new #BackstageDodgers tonight after the post-game show. pic.twitter.com/76ZKaB5xtp