A team with heart

Lynx baseball squad offers support to one of their youngest fans

— Daily Freeman-Journal photos by Troy Banning Lynx ball player Cameron Moen presents a balloon bouquet and a signed baseball to Tucker Jones Friday night. Tucker, 3, is facing open heart surgery on Friday.

The Webster City Lynx Baseball team has some very loyal and enthusiastic fans. But it could be that little Tucker Jones, age 3, may be the team’s biggest fan.

On Friday night, the team gave back a little of that love to their young fan with a surprise presentation. Members of the team signed a ball which was given to Tucker Friday night along with a purple and gold balloon bouquet.

While Tucker’s mom and dad, Lauren and Alex Jones and other family members knew about the presentation, the little Lynx fan didn’t learn about the tribute until he got to the ball field. And he was very excited and happy, according to his mom.

“He was surprised and all smiles,” she said.

Tucker has a tough week ahead of him as he gets ready for open heart surgery this Friday in Iowa City. The surgery is meant to correct coarctation of the aorta, something the family just recently learned about.

“We found out the diagnosis at his three-year-old checkup,” said Lauren Jones. “He just tuned 3 on June 16.”

She said Cameron Moen got the team together, with help from Tyler and Caleb Olson, to sign the ball for their young fan. The idea was to help take his mind off of the upcoming surgery.

The baseball and balloons were presented before the Lynx district game Friday night. The youngster also got to high-five members of the team, something he looks forward to at each Lynx game.

Tucker wore his bright green “I am Tucker” t-shirt. His family members wore green “Support Tucker’s Ticker” shirts which Lauren Jones said are available through Designer Graphix in Webster City. The family also has a Facebook fundraiser going that has raised several thousand dollars to help offset expenses related to the surgery.

The Lynx victory over Perry had to be the icing on the cake for their littlest fan. The team now advances to the district finals.