COBB COUNTY, Ga. — A new star is taking the mound for the Atlanta Braves - pitching out a message of hope in Atlanta.
The 11-year-old boy is playing for something much greater than himself. Cooper Murray is pitching it in and throwing for home - so other kids like him can find a family too.
He hit a home run when he joined the Murray family in 2016.
"How do you even put into words what this (kid) has meant to our family?" said his Dad, Brady Murray.
Their family was inspired to adopt Cooper after their first biological son was born with Down syndrome.
"I was so scared. I remember in the delivery room Googling Down syndrome on my phone," said Murray.
That fear turned into purpose for the Murrays and their sons.
"We were coming down that escalator and I was holding Coop and Nash saw him and threw the rope out of the way," Murray said, "and he was saying, 'My Cooper My Cooper.'"
Cooper's name has been in lights for their family ever since.
"Coop is a showman, so it's meant to be that he's on the big stage," he said.
Now he's taking center stage, throwing out the first pitch for the Braves.
"As a father, how cool is that that your son gets to throw out the first pitch at your family's favorite team in MLB? That's a special thing. But there's something much much bigger that's happening here," he said.
That perfect ball across home plate is a pitch to get other kids home safe.
"There are a lot of kids who are just like Coop who are out there, just waiting to get adopted, and they just need a shot, they just need a chance to get adopted," he said.
With each pitch, Cooper is batting for another kid in foster care who just wants a home, like 11-year-old Tragen in Atlanta.
The Family worked with local nonprofit Georgia Kids Belong to spotlight Treygan, https://americaskidsbelong.org/project/treygan-5511/
"I wholeheartedly believe there is a family who will feel this, and they will feel that feeling that I have felt before. and they're going to answer the call to adopt Tragen, and that's our purpose, that's our goal," Murray said.
These wins are a reminder of what their family lost when they chose to adopt Cooper.
"That other little boy was so close to getting adopted. And I had to tell him no. I had to say, I'm sorry. And that still is a driving force for the work that I am doing. I see that little boy who was so close. And we are advocating for kids like that," Murray said.
This game is helping them reach that goal.
"Look at what happens when a kid gets a shot! Look at what happens when a little guy gets the chance to have a family," he said.