Human kindness, in this case, overflows

Is there anybody who doesn’t love to read stories about acts of human kindness?

I didn’t think so. So here goes…

Mike Leiteritz is a self-employed, 46-year-old sports memorabilia collector in Frankfort, Ill., near Chicago. In June, he bought a box of assorted baseballs signed by different players and teams. One of the balls was signed by the 1995 Butte (Mont.) Copper Kings of the Pioneer League. Leiteritz was able to make one name out on the ball: that of Clinton native Cliff Shanks.

So, recently, Leiteritz googled “Cliff Shanks” and learned far more than he expected. He found Cliff’s recent obituary. He found a piece on this website about Shanks, who was an outstanding player at Clinton and Auburn before going pro. He found out that Cliff Shanks left behind two young children.

So Leiteritz found the online obituary, contacted someone who had left condolences, and, through that person, reached Don Shanks, Cliff’s dad, and a long-time Southeastern Conference football official.

Leiteritz got Don’s address and Fed-Exed the ball with the understanding it would go to Cliff’s son and daughter.

“I know what it is to lose a parent at a young age,” Leiteritz said. “I lost my dad when I was 15. I still miss him.”

Don Shanks delivered the ball to 8-year-old Jake and 10-year-old Andi Tuesday. You can see the photo. You can see the bright smile on Jake’s face.

“Mike will never know how much that means to our family,” Don Shanks says. “It’s nice to know there are people out there who still do that sort of things for strangers.”

Said Leiteritz, “It was just the right thing to do.”

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Cliff Shanks remembered here.

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Support you Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum here.

6 thoughts on “Human kindness, in this case, overflows”

  1. Rick-thank you so very much for this wonderful article! Our children will know how much their dad was loved and admired by this-he is missed every second of every day but his memory will go on forever with the people who loved him-thank you again from the bottom of my heart!

  2. Thank you Mike for being the person you are. We are all lifted and comforted by your kindness.

    And, thank you Rick for letting folks know of this random act of kindness.

  3. To Mike, thank you so much for caring enough to get this baseball from heaven to Andie and Jake. To Rick, thank you so much for sharing this beautiful story of kindness and for helping us keep our precious Cliff’s memory alive! He is so loved and missed every day.

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