All Teams
All Teams

Son gives ball to Mom in the most heartwarming fan catch of the year

main image

We've been blessed with many post-fan catch celebrations this year. Some are glorious, while others have been absolutely terrifying. But during Sunday's Mariners-Tigers game, one man celebrated the catch in the most heartwarming way possible. 

After making the grab:


The fan gave the ball right to his mother. 


But the story gets even better from there. Because this wasn't just a nice moment between a mother and son, but a celebration in the face of illness. 

On a trip home in 2013 from his job traveling the country for an animal rights organization, the now-27 year old John Oberg took his mother, Karen Oberg, to the doctor when she fell ill. Soon after, in May of 2013, Karen was diagonsed with Stage 4 lung cancer and given six months to live. John moved back home to care for her and support her.

For John, the move was a no-brainer:

"Everything is because of her. We grew up just the two of us. We had a low-income but it didn't matter. She's the greatest." 

Last year, their insurance company wanted to drop Karen's hospital from their available options. John created a petition for Karen to keep her hospital and the doctors she built a positive relationship with. They gained 187,000 signatures from all over the state of Michigan. Karen says she was overwhelmed with the support and says it just goes to show there are plenty of wonderful people in Detroit.

Thanks in part to that support, Karen has battled the disease for 15 months and continues to stay positive. The most recent tests showed improvement in her health and she gives much of the credit to John's love.

"He's never missed a treatment, never missed an appointment. It's his loving care that's gotten us this far."

Baseball has long been a way for the two of them to bond (during their first game together in 1999, Bobby Higgison acknowledged them from the field).  So when Robinson Cano fouled a ball behind home plate during their first Tigers game in two years, John capitalized on his chance. After making the catch, he immediately gave the ball to his mom. 

Said Karen: 

"It must be divine intervention. Just being here [at the park] was enough. Having a ball come our way was so special. Something as simple as a ball can make all the difference."