In 2014, Jace Andrews, then 12, was one of the children featured in the ESPN “My Wish” Series, which,
since its beginning in 2006, has partnered with Make-A-Wish® to fulfill 68 sports-themed wishes for children with critical illnesses.
Born with eight heart defects, and having endured multiple surgeries, sports-loving Jace received his wish of being part of the Boston Red Sox for a day, allowing him to meet his favorite player Dustin Pedroia. From a young age, Jace had been inspired by Pedroia because of the recently retired star infielder’s ability to overcome obstacles.
Jace’s unforgettable day was featured on SportsCenter on July 21, 2014.
Now 19, Jace talks about the lasting impact of his grand-slam ESPN wish in the latest episode of Disney’s new video series “The Wish Effect.” The show reunited him virtually with ESPN reporter Chris Connelly, host of the “My Wish” Series since its inception.
Jace knew from the moment of his wish that he wanted to be in sports broadcasting to call, watch, and be a part of the game and bring the story of the game to everyone in the community.
“I really enjoyed catching up with Jace, whom I’ve actually stayed in touch with since his wish,” said Connelly. “And he’s a terrific young person — really knowledgeable and upbeat — who’s focused on his goal of doing play-by-play professionally someday. He did quite a bit of it for the teams at his high school.
“He’ll be the first to tell you the importance of his wish with Dustin Pedroia,” he said. “And Jace’s life is certainly a testament to that same kind of work ethic and determination.”
On the day of his wish, Jace had his own locker for the day in the Red Sox clubhouse, consulted with the manager on the game’s batting order, took batting practice alongside his hero. With Pedroia’s coaching, Jace was able to hit his own ball over the famed Fenway Park Green Monster. He also threw out the game’s first pitch.
“Seeing Jace hit one over the Green Monster was one of my favorite moments in the history of My Wish,” said Connelly. “I feel confident that he’s got a lot of big moments in his future.”
The Walt Disney Company, together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, including ESPN, has supported Make-A-Wish for four decades and has helped make more than 140,000 wishes come true.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Click here to watch the original 2014 Jace Andrews “My Wish” feature. In the video below from 2016, Jace reflects on the original 2014 “My Wish” profile and the confidence he took from his visit with Pedroia.