An Alabama grandfather has gone viral after he left a heartfelt note to the future owner of a bucket of baseballs that he once pitched to his son and grandson.
The touching letter, which was written by Randy Long and shared on Twitter by his grandson Ethan Anderson, was left atop a bucket of balls that Long was donating outside a batting cage in Alabama, ABC News reported.
In his note, Long explained that the baseballs were free and that he hoped someone would get as much enjoyment out of them as he did years ago with his son and grandson, who are now both adults.
"Hope someone can use some of these baseballs in the batting cages," Long wrote. "I found them cleaning out my garage. I pitched them to my son and grandson for countless rounds."
"My son is now 46 [years old] and my grandson is 23 [years old]," he continued. "I am 72 and what I won't give to pitch a couple of buckets to them. They have both moved away."
Finishing his note, Long left a special piece of advice for the future owner, whom he hoped was a dad himself.
"If you are a father, cherish these times. You won't believe how quickly they will be gone. God bless," he wrote. "P.S. Give them a hug and tell them you love them every chance you get."
On Twitter, alongside the photos of the letter and bucket of baseballs, Anderson explained how emotional it made him.
"My grandad left an old bucket of balls at the batting cages we used to go to with this note on them," he tweeted. "I’m not crying, you’re crying."
He later elaborated on his emotions to ABC News, noting that the reason he posted the images was because of the unexpected reaction that he and his grandfather shared.
"When I first saw the note, it made me tear up a little bit because my granddad is not usually a very emotional guy, so when I saw that side of him it made me a little emotional as well," Anderson explained to the outlet. "So that was special for me and that’s really why I decided to post it."
After sharing the images on Twitter Monday, Anderson's tweet received over 29,000 retweets and 220,000 likes. Many users also responded and urged Anderson to go the diamond with his grandfather.
"I hope you go visit your grandpa and give him the biggest hug and tell him how very much you love him," wrote one user. "And oh yeah have a catch with him."
"Please move closer and pitch countless rounds again with him," someone else urged.
The University of Alabama alum later responded to those tweets, reassuring everyone he would find some time to play ball with Long.
"Damn I didn’t expect this. I appreciate the love," he tweeted. "I’ll be going to the cages with him soon don’t worry."
Though he didn't think the photos would go viral, Anderson told ABC News he completely understands why they have.
"We loved all of it, reminding people about the days they had with their dad or their granddad and just to never take those moments for granted," he said.
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