Wayne “Jr.” Butcher (center) poses with a custom Yankees shirt and other items after being told he will be going to see his favorite team Friday night
Wayne “Jr.” Butcher (center) poses with a custom Yankees shirt and other items after being told he will be going to see his favorite team Friday night
Wayne “Jr.” Butcher has been a fan of the New York Yankees for as long as he can remember.

“When my girls were young and they played softball, I was one of the coaches,” Butcher said. “We coached a travel league team and everybody was a Cub fan. There was no way I was going to be a Cubs fan. Reggie Jackson went to the Yankees that year, and I’ve been a Yankee fan ever since.”

A resident at Paddock Springs assisted living facility in Warsaw, Butcher’s room is filled with pictures, jerseys and other memorabilia necessary for any die-hard fan. But the Milford native also has one big problem: he’s unable to watch his favorite team.

“My TV out here doesn’t have the YES (Yankee Entertainment and Sports) station. So I never get to see the Yankees on this dumb thing,” Butcher said. “I watched every dog gone game when I was still at home.”

Butcher may not be able hear the voices of Michael Kay and the Pinstripes’ rotating color commentary team on a nightly basis, but on Friday night, it won’t matter.

Butcher became ill last year and went through Paddock Springs’ rehabilitation program to get his strength back up. The facility’s executive director Berto Nunez promised Jr. that if he became strong enough to travel, Nunez would take him to go see the Yankees.

This past week, Butcher found out that he was going to Guaranteed Rate Field Friday night to watch his beloved Yankees take on the Chicago White Sox.

“I couldn’t hold [the emotions] back, and it still gets me when I talk about it,” Butcher said. “Everybody in this place keeps telling me ‘you’re going to the ball game, going to the ball game.’ Yes I am and I couldn’t be more excited.”

Butcher’s surprise is part of Trilogy Health Services’ Live a Dream Program. The program offers opportunities for seniors to enjoy activities they used to do more often, but have since been unable to do so.

While Butcher’s all-time favorite players like Jackson and Derek Jeter have hung up the cleats long ago, Jr. will have the pleasure of watching ace Garrit Cole on the mound for the Yankees, who have a major-league best 22-8 record.

“I’m excited to see Aaron Judge, he’s a heck of a ball player. They change players all the time so I don’t even know half the team anymore,” Butcher laughed. “I can’t wait to get one of those programs. When I get back I’m going to put it up in the middle of my bulletin board,”

After not being in a major league ballpark for the last 35 years, Butcher could not be more thrilled about going to see the 27-time world champions.

“I am so grateful to have the opportunity to do this. I never thought I’d have the chance to go to another ball game. I appreciate this place taking me, I really do.”