On March 26, 2015, Calvin Gunter, a resident at Life Care Center of Gwinnett in Lawrenceville, Georgia, got to meet one of his heroes.
John Smoltz, pitcher for the Atlanta Braves from 1988-2008, stopped by to visit one of his most devoted fans. Smoltz will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in July.
Gunter has been a Braves devotee since childhood. He played pitcher for his high school team and could pitch up to 90 miles per hour. As an adult, he worked for IPD Printing in Atlanta for 13 years. There, he communicated with the press about the Braves’ standing in the season.
A car accident in 1999 brought Gunter to Life Care Center of Gwinnett, but his fanaticism has not abated.
“Since living in our facility, he has never missed a Braves game on TV,” said Cheryl Lilly, director of business development. “Calvin attended several games last season with his brother.”
Katie Bell, area manager for Kadan Homecare, arranged for Smoltz to visit Gunter.
Smoltz talked about his baseball career and presented Gunter with a framed plaque of the Braves team from 1995, the year it won the World Series. And to beat it all, he gave him his pitching glove from that year as well.
“It was one of the best days of my life,” said Gunter of the visit.