In 2011, East Texas' own Brandon Belt made the big leagues.  He made the final roster cut for the San Francisco Giants and he's played his entire Major League career for them...and he's still going strong.

I don't think I've missed any of his games.  No, I've never seen him play in person, but every time he plays, I always check the game box score to see how he did.  Tonight, I pulled up the MLB website and saw that Brandon had a monster game in the Giants 8-0 win over the New York Mets.  Belt smashed two homers, had a total of four hits and 3 RBIs.  I pulled up some of the video highlights of the game to watch his two dingers, and that's when I saw the heart-wrenching significance of tonight's game.

Tuesday morning, Brandon Belt's grandmother Margaret Peterson had passed away.  According to a story on ESPN's website, Belt struggled as to whether he would play in Tuesday night's game on the road in New York.  But after some encouragement from his family, he not only decided to play, but Belt dedicated the game, and for that matter, the rest of the season to honor his grandmother.  I would definitely say that Brandon delivered on that promise.  And, judging by the way things played out Tuesday in the Big Apple, he was not standing alone in the batter's box.

Brandon Belt is an outstanding baseball player, but I'm also a big fan of his for what he does off the field.  For example:

  • He has hosted several scavenger hunts in which East Texans have won $10,000, vacation getaways including one to DisneyWorld, and he'll be doing a $20K giveaway in October.
  • Belt will be putting on a huge $100K Grand Slam fishing tournament on Lake Sam Rayburn in February.
  • He made good on his promise to his high school baseball coach at Hudson High School by giving a bass boat to Glen Kimble.
  • Often times, you'll catch him hanging out at Hudson basketball games, just sitting in the stands with his family.  It is a blast watching his kid's dance moves on the court during the half.
  • Back in 2011, when Belt was informed that he made the team and would be playing Major League Baseball for the Giants, he let his emotions come out.  That told me a lot about the passion he has not only for baseball, but for life.
  • I got to be the DJ at the wedding reception for Brandon and Haylee.  I was asked if I could bring some karaoke music.  I tried to my best to get what I could, but I didn't have a very big selection.  Belt never complained, he and his friends just did their best job of belting out the lyrics to Gangsta's Paradise.

I could go on and on.

Belt is having a phenomenal season, especially when it comes to power.  He has now hit 19 homers, that's a season high for him, and he's only been able to play in 71 games so far due to injuries.  Without those setbacks, he could easily be on pace to hit 40+ long balls.

I hope Belt continues to have a great season and that the Giants can capture a World Series title.  But most of all, right now, I'm sure I join many others that wish Brandon, Haylee and his family comfort and prayers during this difficult time.


LOOK: 50 images of winning moments from sports history

Sometimes images are the best way to honor the figures we've lost. When tragedy swiftly reminds us that sports are far from the most consequential thing in life, we can still look back on an athlete's winning moment that felt larger than life, remaining grateful for their sacrifice on the court and bringing joy to millions.

Read on to explore the full collection of 50 images Stacker compiled showcasing various iconic winning moments in sports history. Covering achievements from a multitude of sports, these images represent stunning personal achievements, team championships, and athletic perseverance.

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