Mansfield honors young ballplayer who died of rare illness

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by DAVID SCHECHTER and CHRIS HAWES

Bio | Email | Follow: @davidschechter

WFAA

Posted on September 15, 2010 at 9:05 PM

Updated Thursday, Sep 16 at 12:05 AM

MANSFIELD — Kyle Lewis was only seven years old, but he touched countless lives.

He died suddenly last month following a family camping trip after a rare and deadly amoeba attacked his young body.

Kyle had been exposed to a rare amoeba while swimming in a river.

On Wednesday evening, his friends and family members found a way to smile and even laugh as more than 200 people honored Kyle in a special ceremony at the Mansfield Sports Complex.

The organizers of the program decided they would try to swallow tears while remembering the funny, kind, baseball-dedicated little boy who passed away on August 29.

His school principal read from Kyle's journal: "I play pitcher, and I'm good at playing pitcher... and I like it!"

The journal had a common theme. "I hit home runs, too," Kyle wrote.

His sister, Peyton Lewis, shared her memories. "He loved baseball, and I spent many nights out here watching him play the game that he loved," she said.

Kyle's team planted a live oak tree in his honor.

When tears did threaten to come from speakers during the event — including the mayor — It was Kyle's father — and baseball coach — Jeremy Lewis who offered a reassuring smile or hug.

The evening opened with a prayer, but ended with a cheer from Kyle's teammates — a dozen little boy's voices, in which you could almost hear the one who's missing.

The season has been dedicated to Kyle Lewis. His father will continue to coach the team that he played for.

"I made a promise to those kids a long time ago that coach will never leave," the elder Lewis said.

E-mail dschechter@wfaa.com and chawes@wfaa.com

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