SHEFFIELD LAKE, Ohio -- Little leaguers in Lorain County got the chance to enjoy some big league Choo Saturday morning as a familiar face tried to make amends for an unfortunate incident.
"This is a big, big event," said Sheffield Lake Magistrate Kreig Brusnahan.
It was opening day for the youth baseball and softball league of Sheffield Lake and the Village of Sheffield.
"This is the biggest opening day we have ever had," Brusnahan said.
There was some extra pomp and circumstance surrounding this year's festivities.
"It's a great thing for the kids. To see somebody up front like that and actually get an autograph from him, it's special," said Sheffield Lake Mayor Dennis Bring.
Kids of all ages got the chance to meet Cleveland Indians right fielder Shin-Soo Choo.
"I think it's really cool that he could be here for this, and I think it's really cool that people are getting autographs from him," said little leaguer Ryan Waechter.
Shin-Soo Choo showed up to Volunteer Field to sign autographs for the baseball and softball players as they began opening day. Ironically, Sheffield Lake is the same part of town Choo was arrested in last year for a DUI. He said the reason he came back was simple, the kids.
"I have three kids, so this is a reason for me here ... nothing else," Choo said.
"Everybody makes a mistake, and you don't want to pay for it the rest of your life, so he has made amends, and you move on," Bring said.
"He wanted to come back to the community and show that wasn't him. The real person is him today, the baseball player, the star for the Cleveland Indians," said John D. Hunter, Mayor and Safety Service Director for the Village of Sheffield.
"I thought it was pretty cool to have him come," Hanna Tomer said.
Showing up to Volunteer Field was not a court order, it was something Choo volunteered to do on his own.
"I'm just excited, you know, good times and bad for me, so to sign a gift for these kids," added Choo.
It was the perfect start to what these kids hope to be a perfect year.