Orioles skipper Brandon Hyde will get some help tonight through the Make-A-Wish foundation. The Orioles have invited Luke Brockway, 17, from Catonsville to be Orioles manager for a day.
Brockway was presented with a No. 7 jersey before the game and sat next to Hyde in the pregame interview room to answer some questions about himself. He explained that a serious heart condition took him away from the field. But he wants to stay around baseball, a game he loves very much.
So today he is here with his family and ready to help Hyde any way he can.
“It’s your show, you get to answer all the tough questions,” Hyde told him earlier amid a group of reporters before the game in the club's interview room.
"We’re happy to have him here today," Hyde said. "Hope he has a wonderful experience and it’s been great showing him around a little bit.”
Brockway said he was an infielder and pitcher when he played. Tonight, through the Make-A-Wish foundation, he will experience what it is like to be O’s skipper for a day.
“This is fantastic,” he said. “It’s hard to speak with how excited I am. It means a lot, especially because I am not able to play baseball anymore because of my condition. What I ended up doing, being manager, I manage my high school team and my travel team. I love seeing the other side of the field.”
A reporter asked him what he would do with the bullpen tonight. “Let me know,” Hyde said.
Brockway explained more about his situation.
“I was diagnosed in 2020 with a heart condition. My two bottom chambers are thicker than the average. So hard workouts or activities will make me dizzy and I would have events or whatever. It was really hard because I couldn’t play any sports and I couldn’t play what I love so much, which is baseball.
“I just love it so much. I don’t know how to describe it. I have such a pull, such a passion for the game that there was no way I was leaving it when I was diagnosed. I had to find some way to stick with the game and be part of the team.”
Brockway is heading into his senior year at Mt. St. Joseph High School. He said his future work could involve physical therapy.
For now, though, he's been enjoying quite a fun day with the team.
“It was amazing. First guy I saw was T. Wells, Tyler Wells, he’ll be on the bump today. He’s pretty big,” he said. “I went to the batting cages and the first person I saw was Gunnar Henderson taking rips. I was a little shaky. I also got to see the Twin Peaks, the Mountain and the Rock, Félix Bautista and Yennier Cano. Let me tell you, they are big too. It was fantastic.”
Hyde was asked if Luke is the manager if he gets ejected tonight.
“Luke is,” he said. “I might go at the home plate meeting. Get an early start. Sounds like he knows what he’s doing. We’re in great hands.”
Hyde clearly admired Brockway for what he is going through and enjoyed sharing the day with him.
“So cool for us," Hyde said. "When you are in this with the same people every day it becomes normal. We realize that we are super fortunate. To hear his passion for the game and to have our players see it – and he’s going to meet more players – it puts everything in perspective. I just love his passion for baseball. He’s an amazing person with amazing parents.”
And what is Brockway most looking forward to tonight?
“Of course a win,” he said.