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December 15, 2011
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Incline boy revels in once-in-a-lifetime baseball experience

Tyler Knight of Incline Village looked around and had to pinch himself to make sure he wasn't dreaming.“That was the greatest day ever!” said the 9-year-old as he took his seat at Game 1 of the 2011 World Series, the Texas Rangers against Tyler's favorite team, the St. Louis Cardinals.Not only was he attending his first-ever World Series game, he had also met and had his picture taken with Cardinal stars Albert Pujols and David Freese.Tyler saw his first MLB game at age 3 in the old Busch Stadium, when he and his family were guests of Cardinals manager Tony La Russa, all of which was arranged by a family friend, Dave Duffield. That night in July, Tyler was on the field and in the Cardinals dugout, rubbing elbows, taking pictures and getting autographs of many Cardinals stars of that time. Tyler's mom, LeAnn, met center fielder Jim Edmonds and that picture now hangs not only at home, but at Edmonds' restaurant, “15,” in St. Louis. However, at age 3, Tyler didn't really recall or understand the thrill of the moment, but his family did develop and continue a friendship with La Russa. It was through the Cardinals manager that Tyler was issued a pre-game pass this year and permitted on the field to meet the 2011 Cardinals. Tyler met St. Louis pitchers Adam Wainwright and Jamie Garcia, stars Matt Holliday, Yadier Molina, Skip Schumaker and Jon Jay, in addition to Pujols and Freese. He received autographed pictures and baseballs and was tossed a game ball by Pujols during the game.Tyler's dad, a life-long Cardinals fan, has had many memories of St. Louis baseball over the years, but nothing compared to being with his only boy and sharing those treasured moments at the World Series. It just doesn't get any better, he said. “Tyler plays travel baseball for the Reno Hurricanes, and I remember the first time he pitched and in the same game lined a bases-clearing double into the gap … I thought how wonderful this moment is … but seeing his face at the series and then talking with Albert … well, that was something really special, and I will remember that forever.” said Tyler's dad, Billy.Bob Ayrault, a former major league pitcher and owner of the Yard Baseball Academy and Reno Hurricanes baseball teams, has the pictures of Tyler with the Cardinals stars displayed at the team's training facility in Reno.A fourth-grader at Incline Elementary, Tyler enjoys soccer, skating, skiing and basketball to go along with his passion for baseball, but he understands that school always comes first. Mom makes sure of that. Tyler's travel team took the field with the Reno Aces before a game this past summer and was on the field during the national anthem, standing on the pitchers mound. As the Aces pitcher was signing a ball for Tyler, he asked the pitcher if he could “throw a couple.” Barry Enright said to wait a few years, “Your time will come, young man.”It is hard to imagine a time any better than meeting the best baseball player on the planet and sharing that time with family. Going to the World Series and watching his team win wasn't bad either.— This article was submitted to Editor Kevin MacMillan at kmacmillan@tahoebonanza.com.

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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Dec 15, 2011 11:50AM Published Dec 15, 2011 11:43AM Copyright 2011 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.