Little Parker Anderson is a big baseball fan.
Talking baseball is helping the six-year-old get through a pretty tough time right now.
On Sunday, Parker broke his right femur bone making a tackle in a backyard football game. He tackled the bigger kid, he's quick to point out.
Times Observer photo by Jon Sitler
Above, Parker Anderson during Little League tee-ball this spring.
Parker, who is pretty quick, ran him down and grabbed a hold of the ball carrier's t-shirt. Parker's leg got twisted and landed on.
It was the start of a long night, to say the least.
Parker was flown to Erie's UPMC Hamot Medical Center, where his leg was stabilized. By that time, it was 10 p.m. and they waited until morning for surgery.
"None of us slept that night," said Parker's father, Bob Anderson.
An X-ray of Parker's leg showed a spiral fracture in which it twisted and snapped off. He had four screws inserted in the bone and an exoskeleton outside the leg.
Let's just say that after spending six days in the Erie hospital, Parker's "a little cranky."
But true to Parker's personality, he got to know the nurses pretty well there, and they definitely found out his love for sports - football, wrestling, running and ... baseball.
"Parker - he loves the Pirates," said Bob. "He knows everything about the Pirates. For three hours every night he watches the Pirates. He'll sit and watch the whole game. He even knows stuff about the Yankees. I've never had a kid like this before."
The youngest of three siblings, Parker shouldn't know anything about Bill Mazeroski, but he has a poster on his bedroom wall of Mazeroski's famous 1960 World Series-ending home run.
"The Yankees (stink)," Parker said emphatically.
Bob is hoping the Pirates help Parker get through several weeks of very little activity.
"I don't have to go to school," Parker said, almost giddy of one result.
"He told one of the nurses - and he says this to every pretty girl, it doesn't matter how old they are," said Bob, "he says, 'You're hot, and I'm single.'
"He instantly became her favorite."
"She would talk to him about baseball (in the hospital)," said Bob.
It wasn't the Pirates, but she made Parker's day on Wednesday when the Erie SeaWolves' mascot and a player came to visit him in the hospital.
"The guy never introduced himself, but he gave us a signed baseball," said Bob. "But I can't read his name."
The important thing is it put a smile on his face.
"He knows he's not going to wrestle this year," said Bob.
He's going to have to use a wheelchair for several weeks before graduating to a walker.
Baseball and, specifically, the Pirates are going to help him get through it.
He's ready to watch all seven discs of the 1979 World Series, or Inside Pirates Baseball on Root Sports. As this story was being typed on Friday, Andrew McCutchen's two-run single tied the score at 2-2 against the Brewers.
Parker was watching on his first day home.
"The doctor had a Cleveland Indians tie on and Parker said, 'Oh, no, you're not operating on me,'" said Bob.