BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — There are quite a few things that are synonymous with baseball. All the sounds. Crack of the bat. Ball in the mitt. Cheers from the dugout.
And a lot of course some tightly threaded gloves.
But what’s even tighter, may be the bond those connected with the sport have to the game, like the Rodart family.
“If you were out here now he would be running the bases already before games started he'd be begging to be the bat boy because he couldn't play. So baseball has been really important to our family,” Wyatt’s mom Chrissy Rodart said.
Especially for the youngest.
“Wyatt grew up in the seven years he had always at the field,” Chrissy said.
Wyatt Rodart was just seven years old when he passed away in November of 2020 on his birthday from a rare brain tumor known as Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma, DIPG.
For two years this diagnosis took a lot, but it never took away Wyatt’s smile or his love for the game and his favorite baseball player.
“His big brother, Carson was his, his number one, baseball player if they didn't. There was nobody else that matters, even though he loved Cody Bellinger with the Dodgers but if it wasn't Cody, it was Carson, his big brother,” Wyatt’s dad Jacob Rodart said. “And so every time, we’re on the field with Carson, Carson's on the field with his teams, he's absolutely looking down on him.”
Carson’s baseball team, the Pacific Stars dedicated their season to Wyatt even wearing a patch honoring the ‘Live like Wyatt’ mantra.
“I don't know how it would be to lose some like that, you know, especially being. It'd be my little brother, I don't know, I always been waiting my prayers you know I even have him on my shoe right here,” Frankie Ruiz, Pacific Stars Player said. “I'm always thinking about the little guy, and I just know that he's over here watching over us and I think this tragedy in your, in your life that brought us closer.”
While the Pac Stars stepped up to the plate for the Rodart family following tragedy, so did the community.
“ I could tell everyone you know, every one of those people if I could let them know how grateful we are as a family. I don't think shaking their hand and telling them, thank you is enough,” Jacob said.
Support has come financially and emotionally. And recently, the family spoke at a game to help raise awareness for pediatric brain cancer as they also threw out the first pitch in honor of Wyatt.
Now looking to turn their unthinkable loss into a positive cause.
“We knew right away that he would be a game-changer,” Chrissy said.
“When he was born. I knew he would be a very special young man. I didn't know it's gonna be, this was gonna be the outcome, but I can only hope and pray that the doctors and researchers out there using his tissue from that biopsy, find a cure for other children,” Jacob said.
“ While he succumbed to the symptoms of this diagnosis. We know he made a difference, His biopsy brain biopsy gave actually a lot of information to doctors and researchers that it's going to make a difference and we need the community to keep rallying to help fund that research,” Chrissy said.
Just like baseball is timeless, so is Wyatt’s spirit and message.
“I think this will be a forever thing, ongoing, for me, you know, every time I pray or every time I go into the field I always remember little why, and how he always smiling. He was always laughing. And I think, you know, we played through him, and you play with them, and he's in our hearts,” Frankie said.
“I encourage every family that's going through this, just keep on keepin’ on. And as we always say to live like Wyatt,” Chrissy said.
If you would like to donate to the Wyatt Rodart memorial scholarship to help Taft seniors with their future education, you can go here.
And if you would like to help support research for finding a cure for pediatric brain cancer, the Rodart family asks you to visit the ChadTough Foundation.