Mattingly, Make-A-Wish fan meet decades later
6:36 AM ET
Miami Marlins manager Don Mattingly reunited 30 years later with a former Make-A-Wish recipient who overcame his cancer diagnosis and named his daughter after the longtime New York Yankees first baseman.
Jay Handy, now 40, and Mattingly met at Citizens Bank Park on Friday. The decades-old catch-up was set up by Handy’s friends, who contacted the Marlins ahead of their series with the Philadelphia Phillies.
“It was the day of a lifetime,” Handy told the Miami Herald about the 1988 meeting. “When you see days like today, you realize you’re super lucky.”
Aaron Altherr homered twice and drove in five runs, helping the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Miami Marlins 14-2 on Friday night.
Handy brought along his 9-year-old daughter, whom he and his wife named Mattingly after his baseball hero.
Diagnosed with Burkitt’s lymphoma in the 1980s, Handy had been given about a 50 percent chance to survive.
“It was the type of cancer that they don’t see a lot of cases of,” Handy told the newspaper “… We were all given 50-50 chances, and I won the coin toss.”
He ultimately chose to meet with the then-Yankees player after his first choice —