TORONTO -- Michael Hart was only six years old when Roberto Alomar hit his famous home run off Dennis Eckersley in Oakland. He remembers exactly where he was when it happened. "I was watching the game with my family," said Hart. "I remember those playoff games were always on late, so my brother and I had to bug my parents to stay up."
Hart was, like most children growing up in Toronto in the 1990s, a big Blue Jays fan. His favorite player -- no question about it -- Roberto Alomar.
Hart, who's now 25, and his brother Aaron were planning a trip to Cooperstown this summer to watch Alomar be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, but it appears the trip is no longer possible. Hart is fighting non-Hodgkins lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphoid tissue, which includes the lymph nodes, spleen, and other organs of the immune system. He is currently in Mount Sinai hospital in Toronto.
On Saturday, Alomar made a surprise trip to see Hart in the hospital and help raise his spirits.
"Michael and his family supported me for all those years when I played here," Alomar said. "So now it's time for me to give them my support."
Alomar came bearing gifts. He signed a World Series jersey for Hart and posed for pictures, but mostly shared some laughs, and words of encouragement.
"I want Michael to know that he has to be strong, and that he is not alone," Alomar said. "His family is there with him."
"This is so special, that Roberto would come by to visit him," said Hart's father Murray. "It means a lot to Michael, and it means a lot to us. Roberto was always his favorite player, so it's been a really amazing day for him."
Alomar left after giving Hart one more special gift and some encouraging words.
"I am going to give you a bracelet that my mom gave me," said Alomar. "I want you to keep it and wear it every day for good luck. I want you to keep fighting every day Michael. God is with you, and so are your family and friends."
Alomar said he will be thinking a lot about Hart and that he will be checking up on him in the future. "He is in good hands at Mount Sinai, I came here in 1994 when I broke my leg playing winter ball," noted Alomar. "The people here are great."
Rob Jack is a contributor to bluejays.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.