Bryson Stott Chose #5 as a Tribute to His Best Friend, Who Passed Away From Cancer
As if you needed another reason to pull for Bryson Stott. He’ll be honoring his high school best friend, Cooper Ricciardi, by wearing #5 for his Phillies career:
This is my son Cooper wearing #5 in high school a few months later he was diagnosed with a form of #childhoodcancer and 3 1/2 years later he passed away.
His best friend @bryson_stott10 just received his no. 5 for the @Phillies My Momma heart is exploding! ♥️⚾️♥️😭#brysonstott pic.twitter.com/bssOhwz4ga
— Mary Ricciardi (@warrior_momma) April 7, 2022
Stott, who has worn No. 10 in the minors, decided to switch his number in Arizona to honor his friend who died from cancer when they were high school seniors. They were best friends. Stott would watch Cooper Ricciardi play basketball wearing No. 5 for Desert Oasis High while Ricciardi would watch Stott play baseball wearing No. 10.
“He always told me that I was going to make it to the MLB and he was going to make it to the NBA,” Stott said. “We had all these big dreams and aspirations.”
Stott talked about it with Rob Kuestner at NBC10:
Talked to Bryson just last week in the clubhouse about where the poise that he showed through Spring came from. Thought you’d appreciate his answer. pic.twitter.com/jB8s6mbnaE
— rob kuestner (@rkuestnernbc10) April 8, 2022
Cooper sounded like he was aces man:
Ricciardi was the funny kid in school that everyone seemed to love. He was missing from school, but his personality — the one that other students gravitated toward — was shining during cancer treatments.
“The little kids were drawn to him. They loved him. The 2-year-olds, the 4-year-olds. They would want to sit by him in chemo and be his buddy,” said his mother, Mary. “They looked up to him and were just so shocked that ‘Big Boy’ was there. I don’t know what it was. It was weird. Even when we were in the hospital, little kids would come and knock on our door. ‘Can Cooper play games?’ I just thought that was really sweet and cool. He was a big teddy bear for them, giving them encouragement, and they looked up to him.”
Can’t imagine the emotions going through Bryson’s mind knowing he achieved the dream his best friend called back in high school. I just wish Cooper was here to enjoy it with him.