When Utah couple Brady and Andrea Murray’s first son was born in 2007, they got a crash course in raising a child with Down syndrome, but soon learned it was actually a blessing and they made a decision to help orphaned children with Down syndrome around the world. They started the nonprofit RODS Heroes and soon after traveled to China to adopt their second son, Cooper.
Under his dad’s coaching, Cooper grew up playing baseball and proved to be a natural athlete, recently catching the attention of Chicago Cubs pitcher Justin Steele. This led to an invitation to Spring Training and later, an opportunity to throw the first pitch at a Cubs regular season game at Wrigley Field, where Brady says Cooper “wowed the crowd." Then the 11-year-old got an invitation from the Boston Red Sox to throw out the first pitch at Fenway Park.
Now, Cooper has a goal to throw out the first pitch at every Major League Baseball stadium. Not only to wow more crowds, but also to raise money for RODS Heroes and help other orphaned children with Down syndrome find loving homes, just like he did. "Coop has a mission to help 30 kids that have Down syndrome to get adopted, so one for every MLB team." With Wrigley and Fenway down and an upcoming date at Cooper’s favorite team, the Brave’s Truist Park, he only has 27 more to go.