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9-Year-Old Parker Staples Signs with Virginia Baseball

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John "Parker" Staples signs with the UVA baseball team John "Parker" Staples signs with the UVA baseball team
Parker went out on the field with the UVA baseball team to take batting practice Monday Parker went out on the field with the UVA baseball team to take batting practice Monday
Parker Staples was diagnosed with Burkitt's lymphoma in 2017 Parker Staples was diagnosed with Burkitt's lymphoma in 2017
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

Parker Staples is like many kids who grow up loving baseball.

He says his favorite baseball movie is "The Sandlot".

Parker also loves the 'Hoos and the Washington Nationals. 

"He had kind of given himself the nickname Bryce Parker because he's a huge Bryce Harper fan, and he kind of thought Bryce Parker rhymed with Bryce Harper," says Jessica Staples. "He would always say he's strong like Bryce Harper."

On Monday, Parker became an official member of the UVA baseball team.

"He's going to be out for practices," says head coach Brian O'Connor. "Any kind of team gatherings that he's able to make it to."

But Parker's first-ever trip to Disharoon Park was not an easy journey.

"I mean there were times that we thought we would never be here," says Jessica Staples.

Parker was diagnosed with Burkitt's Lymphoma in 2017.

"He had finished his chemotherapy about three weeks ago," says Jessica Staples. "His pet scans, everything came back clear. No evidence of disease, so he is on the road to recovery."

Through Team IMPACT and the UVA baseball team, Parker was able to join the 'Hoos.

"It shows you a lot about people can make things work and where they go to make one little kid, so happy," says Jamie Staples.

"Like coach O'Connor said, there's 34 other guys he's making a huge impact on as well, says Chesdin Harrington. "Definitely, I feel like we're in a big position where we can make an impact on him as well, but undoubtedly, he's making an impact on every single one of us." 

And Monday, Parker got to do what he loves, play baseball.

"I just cant wait to...," says Parker.

"Go out on the field, throw the ball a little bit, take some batting practice?"

"Yeah!"

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