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Surprise reunion of Travis Gaines and his Dunbar baseball team


LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - It was a senior night surprise for players at a Lexington high school baseball game. A teammate came to the field for the first time since being badly injured in a spring break accident.

Travis Gaines, 18, was honored along with the other Dunbar baseball seniors during Tuesday night's game.

Tuesday was Gaines' first day out of a rehab hospital after he was seriously hurt, diving into some shallow surf in Florida.

His father talked to WKYT for the first time on camera about Tuesday night's special moment.

"He was in full uniform," said Keith Gaines, Travis Gaines' father. "He had everything on except for the cleats. It was a surprise, so everybody went wild and kids that were the seniors that saw him come up, they seemed pretty emotional in a good way."

It was senior night and a goal his father says Gaines had in mind since he knew it was a possibility.

"He was really excited about it to get back to the park and up here with everybody," said his father.

Gaines got back on the dirt with his teammates, getting some sort of normalcy back even if he was in a wheelchair and unable to play.

"It feels really good, and we've been looking forward to getting out. Today was a great opportunity," said his father.

Even though Gaines is paralyzed, his emotions are still very much intact. His father says he knew it'd be a tearful reunion between his son and the sport he knows and loves.

"I was watching him, and he was really excited," said his father. "I think that it was just a good moment for him."

Tuesday was not only a huge accomplishment for Gaines but for his father as well. The family hasn't gotten out much since the accident on spring break.

"It feels great. It's the first time he's been out of the hospital and actually the first time I've been out since the incident happened," said his father.

Gaines family would like to thank everyone, especially his coach, for sticking by his side.

Gaines will be graduating on May 24 from Paul Laurence Dunbar High School.


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