For years, Pavin Smith’s parents trotted out to the baseball field to support their son. They paid for his lessons. They cheered as he went from high school champ in Palm Beach Gardens to college star in Virginia and now a prospect for the Arizona Diamondbacks.
“Thank you for everything you have done for me! This doesn’t make up for any of it. Love you both so much. Our home is finally all YOURS. Merry Christmas!”
And with that affectionate letter to his parents and accompanying tweet and video, first baseman Pavin Smith became the darling of social media on Christmas.
The professional baseball player, 21, who graduated from Palm Beach Gardens Community High School and earned a $5 million bonus for signing with the Diamondbacks organization in June, used some of that money to pay off the mortgage on his parents’ Jupiter home, ESPN reported.
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Pavin’s dad, Tim Smith, told WPTV NewsChannel 5 in West Palm Beach he had always told his talented son not to let his rising profile swell his head.
“I’ve been encouraging him for the last few months to be generous to everybody,” the senior Smith said. “Never did I think that meant us.”
Pavin Smith posted the video of his parents’ reactions on Twitter. So far, the original post has been retweeted more than 4,600 times and has been viewed more than 958,000 times.
In the video, Smith’s mom tears up while reading the letter from her son.
Smith, who played for the University of Virginia, said he wanted to pay his parents back for all the support they provided, which led to his signing with the Major League Baseball team.
“Do I give them a vacation or something like that?” he says he pondered. “But, it was like I kinda want to do something more for them, something that means more.”
Smith was on the 11-and-under Palm Beach Gardens team that won the Cal Ripken World Series in Aberdeen in 2008, the Palm Beach Post reported. In his senior year, he pitched, striking out nine batters for every one he walked. He had a 95 mph fastball and was drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the 32nd round in 2014, but turned that down to attend the University of Virginia, where he played first base for the 2015 Cavaliers team that won the NCAA championship.