Having an opportunity to play in front of professional scouts is the dream of every aspiring baseball player.
Josh Cohen is no different.
The 17-year-old junior from Indian Hills High School in Oakland, N.J. never stopped dreaming about that moment even after being diagnosed with cancer in July of 2016.
Cancer forced Cohen to change his priorities. Instead of focusing on the next baseball season, the young pitcher was forced to focus on getting healthy. But despite having to go “through hell and back” he still wanted that one moment in front of scouts.
Thanks to the New York Mets and the Make-A-Wish Foundation, that moment finally came this week.
According to MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo, a now cancer-free Cohen donned a Mets uniform and toed the rubber on Wednesday while Mets coaches watched on and evaluated his performance.
Among the onlookers were former major league pitcher and current Mets Double-A pitching coach Frank Viola. Even Mets general manager Sandy Alderson stopped by for a short time. As did Yankees scout Ben McIntyre, who DiComo says took a moment to urge Cohen to have fun and not be nervous.
“It was my pleasure to see Josh,” McIntyre told MLB.com after Cohen’s bullpen session. “It’s a great story. It’s inspirational to see a kid so young go through so much already.”
As it so often does, the Make-A-Wish Foundation went the extra mile to ensure Cohen had the experience of a lifetime. To the Mets’ credit, they accommodated that in every way. Not only was Cohen granted access to the team’s facility and to the coaches on hand, he was even given his own locker in the clubhouse.
— Play Ball (@PlayBall) March 7, 2018
Cohen was embraced and made to feel a part of the Mets’ family, which went beyond his wildest dreams. And yes, he definitely got to meet some Mets players. That includes Tim Tebow.
It’s always inspiring to see people like Josh Cohen bounce back and show the world that while cancer might be life-changing, it doesn’t have to alter your outlook or your dreams. Here’s wishing him the very best in baseball or whatever it is he decides to pursue.
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