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:

From Matt Breen at The Philly Inquirer:

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:

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.

Fuck Cancer.