PHOENIX -- Paul Aguirre attended all four of the Diamondbacks' World Series home games in 2001, but his magic Chase Field moment will always be the one he enjoyed Monday.
A lot of fans at the D-backs' game against the St. Louis Cardinals understand.
Aguirre, deployed to Afghanistan with the Arizona Air National Guard for the last seven months, surprised his two children as part of a first-pitch ceremony that ended with a joyful, tearful reunion at home plate.
Jackson and Alanna, 6 and 5 years old, threw out ceremonial first pitches before the game to a man they thought was a Diamondbacks player.
As they walked toward the plate, the catcher removed his mask. It was a smiling Paul, who unbeknownst to his children had returned from duty in Kandahar on Sunday.
Alanna put her arms over her head in surprise, and both kids embraced their dad in a group hug that did not end and could be felt halfway across the world. It sent shivers and thunderous applause throughout the crowd.