PHOENIX — "It's Cowie!" shouted two-year-old Cruz Solis as he pulled the stuffed animal out of the box.
It was a reunion that was weeks in the making, but for a two-year-old who couldn't wait to see his stuffed pal again, it likely meant the world.
Yes, this story has a happy ending, but to fully understand the moment, you have to go back a few weeks to a kid's birthday party and a baseball game between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Seattle Mariners.
"We had a great time," said Samantha Solis, Cruz's mom. "Although the Diamondbacks never win when we're there, unfortunately."
That didn't matter to Cruz, of course, who was plenty entertained with his best friend, Cowie, who Santa brought last year.
“So he was playing a lot with Cowie throughout the game, and I do recall him stuffing it in between one of the seats,” his mom said.
Yup, you probably know where this is headed already. The family returned home and soon Cruz went to look for his stuffed friend, who was suddenly missing. Certainly, something that isn't uncommon when it comes to kids and their toys.
“We took everything out of the car, and I don’t remember seeing Cowie, and I don’t remember him holding it, and so I was like I’m pretty sure we left it,” said Samantha.
Taking a chance, they reached out to Jeremy Eisler, the director of suites and premium hospitality with the D-backs, to see if someone at the stadium found her son's beloved friend.
In the meantime, they told Cruz that Cowie was on vacation, but little did they know, Cowie was indeed on a staycation, and Eisler made sure there were pictures to remember.
“For us, it’s about finding things to do no matter how small,” said Eisler.
Cowie was quickly found at the stadium and treated to a tour of Chase Field. Eisler took photos of Cowie in the D-backs office, in the elevator, with the team's World Series sign, hanging on one of the railings, and hanging in the seats from the outfield.
“To meet Cowie and show him around and give Cowie some memories was certainly a valuable experience for us both,” said Eisler.
Samantha showed Cruz some of the photos and told him that Cowie would be on his way home.
A few days later, Cowie made his way home. Cruz even gave him a couple of extra kisses on his forehead and thanked Jeremy in a video his mom recorded.
Jeremy’s kindness proving all-stars and winners are not always the ones on the field.