'I just broke down into tears': Reds fan meets hero Jonathan India after four heart surgeries

Jonathan India makes one fan's 'entire life'
India and Kinman share an embrace
Posted at 12:00 AM, Jul 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-06 00:00:42-04

CINCINNATI — Die-hard Cincinnati sports fan Patrick Kinman has natural charm.

"I may be from Maryland, but I bleed the 5-1-3," Kinman said.

He's stayed positive, despite how many curve balls life throws at him.

“I have had four open heart surgeries and two pacemaker surgeries. I have autism, a processing disorder…knocked down a lot in life," Kinman said. "I’ve been bullied, I’ve been made fun of, I’ve been told I needed surgery and all of those things absolutely suck."

What Kinman has been through makes him feel a special connection his favorite baseball player: Reds second baseman Jonathan India.

“Every time (India) went down, he got right back up," Kinman said. "From the get go, he was my favorite player — the way he played is how I went through life."

Six months ago, he met his idol.

"One of the most famous sayings is don't meet your idols ... me meeting him was proof that's just kind of a lie," Kinman said.

Fast forward from January to July, India hooked Kinman and his family up with a V.I.P. experience at Great American Ball Park.

“Whenever I asked him to sign my jersey, I just broke down into tears because that jersey meant so much to me,” Kinman said.

The jersey was a gift after his fourth open heart surgery. India's action spoke loudly, but in this case, not as loudly as his words.

“Seeing the tweet that he said I inspire him, really, really just made my entire life," Kinman said. "Your favorite baseball player just told you that you inspire them."

Everyone is in a position to inspire.