DRACUT, Mass. (AP) - They Pedroia'd it forward.
As tickled pinkish-red as 19-year-old Kylie Brough and mom, Kimberly, were to meet Red Sox star Dustin Pedroia and get his autograph during Fenway Park's 100th year Open House celebration on April 19, the Westminster residents couldn't help feeling something was very amiss about the moment, too.
There had been those two young boys in Red Sox jerseys, one place ahead of the Broughs in line, who had excitedly yet patiently waited, along with their parents and grandmother, since 2 p.m. to meet the baseball star. Pedroia is her oldest son's favorite player ever, the mother said. The boy had the Sox second baseman's baseball card in his hand.
An announcement that was broadcast over Fenway's loudspeakers as 54,000 fans browsed the old ballpark's countless corners and crannies on that sunny Thursday informed fans that Pedroia was among the players due to begin signing at 3 p.m.
During the more than 90 minutes they stood together in line, Kylie, a freshman nursing student at Fitchburg State University, chatted with the grandmother, including a conversation about her schooling, prompting the grandmother to share that she is a "surgical nurse" at Saints Medical Center in Lowell.
The grandmother also told Kylie she was looking to buy a Cody Ross Red Sox jersey, because Ross is also her last name.
By 3:30, the line hadn't moved. There was no sign of Pedroia. The boys' mother had to break the bad news to them: to make
a prior commitment at home, they had to leave.
"The little boys were being so good -- really understanding about leaving," Kylie Brough recalled. "They just seemed like a really sweet family."
Only about 15 minutes after the boys had left, Pedroia arrived to sign autographs. He signed a baseball each for Kylie and her mom.
Moments later, mother and daughter knew what they had to do. The next day, April 20, Kimberly Brough phoned Saints Medical Center and asked a staff member if she could get a message to a surgical nurse named Ross.
The Human Resources Department at Saints immediately passed along Kimberly Brough's contact information to operating-room nurse Rosemarie Ross.
"Colleen in Human Resources told me this woman was looking for a surgical nurse named Ross because she has a signed baseball by Pedroia she wants to give you," Ross said. "I just couldn't believe how she remembered those facts and was able to get in touch with me, and that she would be willing to do that."
Ross immediately returned Brough's call.
"I was excited," she said. "And when I called, I got the mother. She said she was all excited and happy to do it for us."
After thanking Kim Brough profusely, Ross gave her mailing address. The next call Ross made was to her grandsons, Tyler and Dylan, ages 9 and 6, sons of Michelle and Reggie Eld of Dracut.
"We were so touched by this act of kindness," Michelle Eld said. "It restores your faith in humanity. Not many people would go out of their way to give up their very valuable signed Red Sox ball and give it to a child, much less track the family down and take the time to ship it."
Not only was the ball the Broughs shipped to Tyler and Dylan signed by Pedroia, it had also been previously autographed by Red Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz, the Elds discovered upon receiving the ball in the mail.
"A little bonus," Kylie Brough called it.
"Rose, we are so happy to be able to send this to your adorable grandsons," Kimberly Brough wrote in the note that accompanied the package. "They waited so patiently to see Pedroia, and we felt so bad they were not able to meet him."
Tyler and Dylan each made thank-you cards, drew pictures and wrote a letter to Kimberly and Kylie Brough to express their gratitude.
Tyler placed the ball in a special laminated holder/display stand that also contains his Pedroia baseball card.
Michelle and Reggie Eld sent their own letter as well, thanking the Broughs for their "wonderful thoughtfulness," and "unforgettable act of kindness."
"Not only have you given my boys a keepsake to treasure forever, you have also given them an invaluable lesson on the kindness of humanity that we will always remember," Michelle Eld wrote. "Our sons will have a great story to tell their kids and grandkids one day."
Kylie Brough said she and her mother will treasure their own keepsakes from Tyler and Dylan just as much.
"We will always keep your picture and wonderful cards, and whenever (Jacoby) Ellsbury or Pedroia do something great, we will think of you!" wrote Kim Brough. "We feel fortunate to have met your lovely family."
"You have two very special boys," she added. "What a great lesson you are teaching them!"