Bailey O'Neill, and his father Robert, were Phillies fans. The last game they went to together was back in August 2012. Bailey was 11 years old then and had a whole life ahead of him. Now, he'll never get to see another game, he died in March of this year. A life cut short by bullying.
Bailey was punched by another student on a school playground, a victim of a bully. He started suffering seizures after the attack, had to be put in a medically induced coma, then finally died on March 3rd after being taken off life support.
Robert Bailey wanted the Philadelphia Phillies to dedicate a home game to Bailey to raise awareness about bullying. He started a petition on Change.org for that purpose and it was just announced the the Phillies will indeed honor Bailey on May 29th.
The Good Phight is the SB Nation blog covering the Phillies. When they heard about the petition they jumped at the chance to help. One of their writers contacted Robert O'Neill that resulted in a phone interview. It's a story of one father talking to another about the hazards of bullying. It stands as a testament to Bailey's life, and lets everybody know that The Good Phight would also like to raise awareness about bullying. They are honoring Bailey by telling the world his story, and the story of a father who has to go on without his son, the story of a family suffering a grievous loss.
It's not a sports story, even though a love of the Phillies runs through its core. It's a human story, a human tragedy, one that is plaguing schools around this country. Bullying, and its sometimes tragic results, need to be exposed. That's the only way we can hope to stop it.
Bailey O'Neill represents kids around the country. His father represents the grieving relatives left behind. He also represents the best of people, when they reach out through their own tragedy in an effort to help others. This is worthy of recognition. The Phillies and The Good Phight are to be commended for helping Robert honor his son, Bailey.