Mookie Betts, BYU football, community make pitch for local little leaguer in hospital

ST. GEORGE — Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts and the BYU football teams may all wear blue, but they made an effort Wednesday to make sure the St. George boy recovering from a severe head injury at the site of the Little League World Series feels less blue.

Los Angeles Dodgers player Mookie Betts seen in an image from a video sent to Easton Oliverson, Aug. 17, 2022 | Photo via Facebook, Oliverson family, St. George News

Betts, the Major League All-Star, is Snow Canyon Little League all-star Easton Oliverson’s favorite baseball player according to his family. On Wednesday, the Dodger sent Oliverson a video.

Oliverson’s family said the moment the 12-year-old recovering from a traumatic head injury at a hospital in Pennsylvania saw the video, he cried. 

“I just want you to know that we’re praying for you, thinking of you and hope to see you soon my man,” Betts says in the video sent to Oliverson’s family via Facebook. 

The videos sent to Oliverson by Betts and the BYU football team can be seen at the start of this story.

According to his family, Oliverson fell off the top of a bunk head in the dorms at the World Series site in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, early Monday. Oliverson’s team, the first-ever from Utah to reach the top event in Little League, plays their first game of the tournament Friday. The bunk beds at the dorm have since been removed in favor of single beds.  

Oliverson remains in the intensive care unit at Geisinger Janet Weis Children’s Hospital in Danville, Pennsylvania, but is now out of sedation and has begun speaking with medical staff and his family. 

“He has been waving at (his parents) Jace and Nancy and mouthing the words, ‘I love you,’” the family said in a statement.

Along with Betts, Oliverson also received love from his favorite football team, the BYU Cougars, who also sent him a video message Wednesday.

It wasn’t just one or two players. It was pretty much all of them.

A flyer for the ice cream fundraiser for Easton Oliverson on Aug. 18, 2022 at Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream | Photo courtesy Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream, St. George News

Cougars receiver Hobbs Nyberg noted in the video that he was from St. George himself – he was a football and baseball star at Dixie High.

“Us and the team are all just really wishing you the best, and we’re proud of you and know you’re going to do great,” Nyberg say. “We love you.”

There is also love being passed along from the Southern Utah community for the young outfielder nicknamed “Tank.” 

Stickers with the words “Miracles for Tank” are starting to appear on vehicles in town. The stickers were created by a local resident and family member Shanna Bundy who is giving them out for free by texting 435-313-7426.

The Snow Canyon team itself is selling official team hats at this link, and they say a portion of proceeds are going to both Oliverson’s recovery and to help Snow Canyon players’ families with expenses for the trip to Williamsport. People can also donate to the family directly at the Venmo link @miraclesfortank. 

The “sweetest” fundraiser for the Oliverson family may be at a local ice cream parlor Thursday. Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream is giving a portion of its sales from 6 to 10 p.m., at all of its Utah locations, including St. George, to the Oliverson family.  

Ed. note: When making charitable contributions it is advisable to consult with professionals for tax advice and investment risks.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2022, all rights reserved.

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