The sun was bright on the first Christmas Javier can remember.
“It woke me up,” he said on his 56th Christmas. “It was brighter than I had ever seen.”
Javier was born in Carolina, Puerto Rico, and figures he was about five years old for this story.
“I knew there would be gifts,” he said, “and all I wanted was baseball stuff. We used a broomstick bat and an old rubber ball. All the kids in the neighborhood played and I was one of the youngest.
“They always stuck me in the outfield,” Javier continued, “but I wanted to be a shortstop. I thought if I had a real baseball and maybe a new bat they would let me play where I wanted.
“We didn’t have a Christmas tree,” Javier went on. “My mother hung a stocking on a kitchen cupboard handle and when I came down for breakfast it was filled with a new ball and a glove. There was a new bat left on the table, too. I couldn’t believe it was all for me. I didn’t even eat because I went right out for a game.”
“Did they let you play where you wanted?” someone asked.
“Yeah,” Javier said with a smile. “I played shortstop and the sun was so bright.”