On Monday, a package was delivered to Greg Rita's house in Jacksonville. It was from the Boston Red Sox.
"My favorite team," said Rita, a popular and successful PGA Tour caddie who worked for Curtis Strange and John Daly, among others. Rita was with Scott Hoch on the Champions Tour last year when he collapsed, and later was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor.
During the recent Players Championship, Rita visited with some of this old friends, including members of the media. Stories were written about him and his wish to take son Nicolas to Fenway Park when Nicolas is 5. He is now 3.
"To do that, I have to beat this thing," said Rita. "Anyway, I opened up this package and there was a baseball in bubble wrap. I had just returned from rehab. I later find out that Tom Werner (Red Sox chairman) had read an article in the Boston Globe by Jim McCabe about my situation. But that isn't half of it. The ball was signed by one guy. Jon Lester."
The Red Sox left-hander missed most of the 2006 season while he was treated with a rare form of Non-Hodgkins lymphoma. He returned to pitch in the clinching game of the World Series for Boston last year. Then on Monday, hours after Rita received the autographed baseball at his home, Lester pitched a no-hitter against the Kansas City Royals.
"I feel something going on," concluded Rita. "Something good."