FORT WORTH -- The start of a new baseball season was always a joy for Micah Ahern. This year, though, it brought an unease for his family.
"It reminds you that he's not here, so that is hard," said his dad, Maurice Ahern.
It's been nearly seven months since TCU's youngest player finished his battled with cancer at just seven years old.
"We both (he and his wife, Linda) wish that Micah was still here, but when you see the impact, it's just hard to wrap your mind around," Maurice Ahern said.
Micah's impact came in his constant joy even through immense pain, and it was far-reaching.
"There wasn't a lot going on, and that's when I sent the tweet out," Houston attorney Joe Gagnon said, mentioning a free moment during his work day. "It just occurred to me, 'The season will be starting tomorrow. All right, here. I'm going to post this.'"
What started as the TCU grad's Twitter pledge to donate $10 for every Horned Frogs home run this year quickly went viral. The promises piled up faster and faster, and each one was different. Some offered a dollar, some two. Others said they'd give more if the big blasts came against Baylor or Texas A&M. Some were betting on certain players like heavy hitter Luken Baker, and a few even decided to chip in for strikeouts instead of home runs.
The one common thread, though, is that one name was at the center of it all.
"We don't want to see this end," Gagnon said. "Micah's no longer with us here on earth, but he's still loved by thousands of people the world over."
That pledge of $10 per home run was turned into #MashForMicah by TCU fan site, Frogs O' War. Hundreds of people are in, promising more than 600 dollars per dinger to Micah's TCU Baseball Scholarship. (Just write 'Micah Ahern Baseball Scholarship' in the Comments section if donating)
"I was like, 'What?!'" Maurice Ahern said. "I was totally surprised."
Surprised and thankful.
"Thank you," he said. "It's been amazing just to see that love."
When Micah's involved, the phrase Never Ever Give Up always seems to have a presence, and TCU's (and Micah's) fans are putting their money where their mottos are on this one.