Almost every day, Kolt Kyler worked on his family’s farm as well as attending school and going to baseball practice. Many a time, the youngster was left worn out by his commitments. So, one day when his dad gave him one last job, he burst out crying.
The Kyler family reside in Pierceton, Indiana. They live on a farm, so there’s always plenty of work to be done. As a result, by the time that Kolt was nine in 2017, he’d already started helping out with the animals.
Apart from farming, the family had another passion in life – baseball. For generations, in fact, the Kylers had supported the Chicago Cubs. And little Kolt was no different. He’d followed the team his entire life, but was yet to see them in action.
Instead, little Kolt busied himself with farm work. The youngster picked up eggs laid by the chickens and helped with the cows, as well as looking after two pigs as part of his 4-H project. And somehow, he still had time for baseball and school.
In an interview with ABC News in 2017 Kolt’s half-sister Hannah Himes revealed, “Kolt has been helping his dad on their farm for a couple years with their cows, but recently Kolt got two pigs to show for 4-H for the first time, so he’s had to work extra hard!”
According to his proud sibling, little Kolt never stopped. “He also made the travel baseball team again this year,” Hannah said. “So he’s been busy with regular season, travel team, farm chores, cub scouts, and he is also an honor roll student.”
And one day in April 2017 had been particularly busy for young Kolt. He’d played in two baseball games and mowed his grandma’s yard. Then, upon his return home, Kolt completed his usual chores on the farm.
Once Kolt had finished his work, his dad Andy called him into the barn to congratulate him on his efforts. The encounter was caught on film, and in the resulting footage Andy admits, “I kind of tested you a little bit today to kind of see how you’d react.”
The appreciative father adds, “I knew you were tired, but you never once complained. You know, you worked hard.” However, it seems that Andy still has one last task for his worn-out son to complete. And this time it will be something that Kolt has never done before.
Grabbing something off-camera, Andy explains, “This is something here that you and I are going to do, and it’s going to take a whole day to do it. So, do you want to do it?” Without hesitation, Kolt agrees to the mystery task with a nod of his head.
It’s then that Andy hands his son an envelope, which Kolt proceeds to open. The youngster pulls out a piece of paper, and upon reading what it says he begins to jump up and down on the spot. Soon afterwards, the boy erupts into tears and runs into his father’s arms.
As Kolt sobs into his dad’s chest, his mother – who’s filming the exchange – asks what the paper says. Through his tears, her son replies, “Me and Daddy are going to Wrigley Field” as he holds up two tickets for the Cubs’ upcoming game against the St. Louis Cardinals.
From his reaction, it’s clear to see just how grateful Kolt is for the tickets. But in the eyes of his family, the gift was well-deserved. And they were so proud of their boy that they decided to share the footage of him receiving his surprise on social media.
Kolt’s mom Natalie thought that her friends and family might like to enjoy the special moment for themselves. However, when his sister Hannah shared the footage on Twitter, it went viral. In fact, the heartwarming video even caught the attention of some Cubs stars themselves.
After seeing the footage of Kolt, first baseman Anthony Rizzo offered the youngster some batting practice passes. Meanwhile, star pitcher Jon Lester said that Kolt and his dad could sit in his personal seats. And teammate Kris Bryant tweeted, “Can’t wait to see you Kolt!”
Hannah and the rest of Kolt’s family couldn’t quite believe the reaction that he was getting, though. “I just thought it was a cute video to post,” Hannah told MLB.com in 2017. But little did she know that things were about to become even crazier.
By the time the day of Kolt’s first visit to Wrigley Field came, his experience had transformed from a special father-and-son outing to a VIP family occasion. Kolt and his brother got to sit in the dugout, touch the ivy on the Wrigley Field outfield wall, help the groundskeepers water the field and meet Cubs favorites Anthony Rizzo and Addison Russell.
All in all, it was a day that neither Kolt nor his family will ever forget. “It’s just mind-boggling to think it came to this,” Natalie said. “We just thought [the video] would be on there for family and friends and the normal group on social media and didn’t think too much of it.”
Dad Andy added, “I got almost emotional when we walked in – I started thinking about my first game and what I felt, and what he’s feeling, and how much it’s going to mean to him and does mean to him. I’m so excited, I can’t even talk.”
But most of all, the day was about Kolt and rewarding his hard work. “He is always grateful for gifts, trips for ice cream, anything,” Hannah said of her brother in a 2017 interview with Good Morning America. “I think more people in the world should take note of Kolt’s work ethic, attitude and thankfulness.”