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May 17, 2019 | Rick Hall
At a little league game in Passaic county earlier this week, eight-year-old Ryan stepped up to home plate. It's his turn to try to get a run for his team. At the last minute, a voice came over the PA system to announce a pitching change.
That's when a grown man stepped onto the mound. Clearly Ryan didn't notice the unusual size of the new pitcher, but a few moments later he realized who it was. This grown man was someone he hadn't seen in nearly a year.
Upon realizing that his father was standing feet away from him, Ryan charged the mound and leapt into his father's arms. According to NJ.com, Staff Sgt. Steve Batista, 35, had just returned home from a deployment in southern Afghanistan with the Marines and made it just in time for the game.
Ryan's mom Jillian said, "It was just a perfect ending to a very long deployment."