javier baez defenseA couple Decembers ago, Chicago Cubs fans – and anyone else who was interested – got to experience a small portion of the bond Javier Baez shares with his sister, Noely, thanks to this article. Sports fandom can dehumanize players for some of the very fans who watch them, and stories like Javy’s and Noely’s have a way of naturally grounding┬áthose fans. It was really nice to learn more about their story.

Last night, Noely, who had suffered from spina bifida, passed away. She was 21.

Baez, 22, will take a leave of absence from the AAA Iowa Cubs to be with his family, and I hope folks give him the space to grieve out of the public view. Thoughts and prayers go out to the Baez family.

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