Vitello makes a play at home

Susan EspirituOur Town Neighbors, West Knoxville

We often see Tony Vitello posing for pictures on hospital visits or after his team’s baseball games, maybe even while selling lemonade outside the stadium during a suspension. Some may think that persona is part of the public relations image he is putting forth in times of media hype and frenzy. Ask the Belcher and Doran families and they will tell you about the Tony Vitello they met the other night who surprised them at their home, minus the publicity crew.

The Belchers, being avid UT baseball fans, attended the UT game, but since students were in the middle of the all-important and nerve-wracking TCAP test at school the next day, the family left prior to the end of the game. As they got in the car, a foul ball crashed through the window, shattering the glass, resulting in some minor cuts on daughter Kailey’s arm.

Kailey Doran and Tony Vitello

When Vitello heard about the incident, he found their address from a mutual friend and showed up at their house to personally let Kailey know that he and the team were relieved to hear she wasn’t seriously injured. He also brought game balls and smiles to all the kids and adults which obviously made the night for all involved.

Tony Vitello, Jimmy Doran, Jessica Doran

As Jessica Doran said, “We have always loved our BaseVols, and our hearts bleed orange, but this is something they will never forget and we are forever thankful.”

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