Red Sox World Series: Craig Kimbrel’s emotional year, on and off the field, ends on a high note

Newson October 29th, 2018No Comments

LOS ANGELES – Shortly after the Red Sox had been presented the World Series trophy, Sunday night, Craig Kimbrel danced with his daughter.

The long-bearded closer and the toddler both laughed gleefully, as his the high notes of Kimbrel’s his personal and professional life came together on the field at Dodger Stadium.

Just under a year ago, Craig and Ashley Kimbrel’s lives were in upheaval when their newborn daughter Lydia Joy was born with a heart defect that required multiple surgeries at Boston Children’s Hospital. It affected his offseason training and limited his time in spring training.

Kimbrel said the stress of seeing his daughter battle helped keep baseball, and the seemingly stressful role of a closer, in perspective all year.

“Pressure from a ballgame is nothing like pressure of a life and seeing someone go through that especially if it’s your daughter,” Kimbrel said. “Our perspective changes. What’s important changes. Providing her with everything she needs and being in a city where we could do it, I couldn’t feel more blessed or be in a better place.”

With two surgeries behind her, Lydia Joy Kimbrel was healthy enough to go to the All-Star game in July and to the World Series. While she obviously doesn’t understand baseball of the magnitude of the World Series, Kimbrel was thrilled to share the moment.

“She was here. A lot of people were praying for her and thinking of her throughout the entire year. She makes me take every day one day at a time. Nothing’s for granted,” he said. “I know how special life is and moments like this are and how important it is to share it with everyone around you.”

On Saturday, the Kimbrel’s will celebrate again. It won’t be as grand as the World Series, but knowing what Lydia has been through, her first birthday is a special milestone.

“I can’t wait to get home and celebrate it,” Kimbrel said.

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