Local student spends lunch hour with Astros' Pence

September 15, 2010 8:51:53 AM PDT
Being able to meet one of your sports heroes is a dream come true for any kid, and that's exactly what happened to Landrum Middle School student Jacob Barrios on Tuesday. Jacob's ear-to-ear smile says it all. He got to spend his lunch hour with Houston Astros outfielder Hunter Pence. The 13 year old was the winner of the Astros' Take a Player to School program. Jacob's grandmother Lucy wrote an essay about her grandson. It was one of 1,600 essays entered.

"He loves to help. He loves people and he loves to do good for people," Lucy said.

Jacob's story is one we can all learn from. He's overcome dyslexia to reach the A/B Honor Roll every year. But it's his willingness to help that really stands out.

Some of his art work will be seen at Landrum for years to come, including a mosaic wall and planter in the courtyard. Jacob spent hours of his free time to finish the project.

"I hit a home run off of Roy Halladay with this bat right here. There you go," Pence said, handing one of his bats to Jacob.

"There's not even words to describe how exited we are for him. He's so deserving," said Jacob's mother, Amy.

"For him, it's a dream come true. But for me, it is too. I'm just a big kid as well," said Jacob's father, Mike.

While Pence is one of Jacob's heroes, today Jacob is one of Pences' heroes.

"I think it goes to show that if you put your mind to it and you have the heart, you can do some incredible things. I think he's made an impact and been an inspiration to me, and hopefully everyone around here," said Pence.

When asked who his favorite Astros player is, Jacob replied, "Craig Biggio."

But when asked to name is favorite current Astros player, he said, "Hunter Pence."


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