A San Pedro High School baseball player who was savagely beaten by suspected gang members surprised his teammates by throwing out the first pitch in their most recent game.
Evan Jimenez, 15, was attacked in an alley by two men as he was heading home from a friend's house after a baseball game in late March. The teen was so badly beaten that he was initially left breathing through a ventilator.
But on Tuesday, as his team prepared to take on Banning High School, Evan made his way to the diamond, to the surprise and joy of his friends and teammates, who were all cheering him on.
"I feel blessed and amazed," Evan said.
The idea to surprise his teammates, who had earlier dedicated the season to their friend and had visited him at the hospital, was all Evan's, family members said.
"It's just a blessing. He's a miracle," said Charlene Douthit, Evan's mom. "It's a beautiful thing for him to come here and do the first pitch, surprise his team."
"That was the best thing I've ever seen on this field," said Jeremy Brady, one of Evan's teammates.
Evan still has extensive physical therapy ahead of him, and he does have some short-term memory loss, Douthit said, but they are hopeful he will make a full recovery.
"I want to tell everyone thank you for all your prayers and support," Evan said.
Detectives are still investigating the case.