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Journalism Showcase: Forgiveness and Redemption: The Andrew Bellatti Story Unveiled in Sunday’s “SC Featured”

Producer Dan Arruda connected with the Phillies pitcher's inspirational journey from a 2010 tragedy that changed the lives of two families and asked if another chapter could be told

SC Featured’s newest episode, “Dear Mrs. Reid,” explores the story of Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Andrew Bellatti and how a pivotal decision made in a courtroom in 2010 comes full circle, leading Bellatti on a profound path of reconciliation.

“Dear Mrs. Reid,” produced by Dan Arruda and reported by Andrea Adelson, debuts Sunday during the 8 a.m. ET edition of SportsCenter and will re-air in other editions on Sunday and Monday.

Arruda connected with Bellatti’s story after reading a Philadelphia Inquirer article by reporter Alex Coffey published in December 2022 following the Phillies’ World Series appearance.

“It was a heartbreaking story about how one mistake made by Andrew in 2010 permanently changed the lives of two families,” said Arruda. “I was touched by the incredible mercy and forgiveness shown by Lyn Reid and her family towards Andrew but felt the story might have another chapter.”

The heart of the story lies in a letter crafted by Bellatti from a prison cell as he awaited sentencing for vehicular manslaughter in 2010. The letter was addressed to Lyn Reid, whose husband, Dave Reid, was killed in the collision with the car Bellatti was driving.

During filming, the production team presented Bellatti with a copy of the letter, and the moment encapsulates the very core of the project.

I wondered if Andrew and Lyn would consider meeting each other after 13 years and saying things which were seemingly never communicated years ago. – Producer Dan Arruda

“It was clear that Andrew hadn’t seen the letter since the day he wrote it, and, once realizing what it was, he became very emotional and couldn’t continue,” said Arruda. “Seeing the letter brought back a flood of emotions and seemed to instantly transport him back into the cell where he wrote it. It was one of the most emotional moments I’ve ever witnessed during an interview.”

Navigating through Bellatti’s agent, Arruda initiated a dialogue with the pitcher, inquiring about his willingness to unveil his story with ESPN. However, the condition was clear: Reid’s approval was paramount.

“I wondered if Andrew and Lyn would consider meeting each other after 13 years and saying things which were seemingly never communicated years ago,” said Arruda.

Arruda’s proposition was met with enthusiasm on both fronts. Reid, too, affirmed her commitment to the project, even contemplating the idea of reuniting with Bellatti — a step she had pondered but not articulated until that point.

Arruda’s ultimate aspiration is that the audience emerges from this feature with a profound understanding of the transformative power of forgiveness— both towards others and oneself.

“She [Lyn] believed that punishing Andrew by putting him in prison for years wouldn’t help anyone, and it certainly wouldn’t bring her husband Dave back,” said Arruda. “Her compassion and empathy allowed Andrew to continue his life path, which meant fulfilling his dream of pitching in MLB and having a family of his own.”

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