Robin Ventura and Emily Beazley formed a close bond shortly after Ventura took over as White Sox manager in 2011. Late Monday night, Beazley, 12, passed away after a long fight with non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.
One of the first things Ventura did as White Sox manager was appear in a cameo with Beazley at the Goodman Theater’s production of ‘A Christmas Carol’ in December 2011. Beazley, a native of Mount Greenwood, Ill. who had battled her disease since age 8, threw out the first pitch to Ventura prior to the White Sox win over Cincinnati on Sunday, May 10.
“It’s sad. It breaks your heart,” Ventura said. “For me being a parent ... with her passing she was a tough kid going through something unimaginable. Her attitude, being upbeat the way she was through it all, you learn things. You get a perspective on what is important.”
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Over the last three weeks, Beazley received an outpouring of support after doctors ended a last-ditch treatment that wasn’t working, according to the Chicago Tribune. She received a phone call from Taylor Swift, was given the opportunity to attend prom, had a section of Homan Avenue dedicated in her honor and was made an honorary Chicago Police Officer, among other gestures of love and support from the community that had been with her for the last four years.
“Her and the family and everything the community did for her was incredible,” Ventura said. “She jammed a lot in in 12 years, especially the last three to four. Your heart breaks. It’s incredibly sad.”
— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) May 19, 2015