PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Most kids love to have sleepovers, but what about the idea of having a sleepover in the Phillies' clubhouse?
And that was just the beginning tonight for a group of very special kids.
It was none other than Phillies Manager Gabe Kapler who welcomed nine children from local hospitals to spend a night in the clubhouse.
The sleepover coming just days after a wildfire destroyed Kapler's home in Malibu. Kapler did not want to talk about his loss, but instead focused on the children.
"We have local hospital kids. We never let anyone sleep over in the clubhouse. It's a real opportunity to take a break from things they're dealing with and it feels amazing to be part of that," said Kapler.
The kids and a friend were each assigned a locker with personalized nameplates and their own player cards. They spent time chatting with Kapler and exchanging autographs.
Parents were touched by Kapler's kindness.
Vik Vartanian of Blue Bell said, "He's been through a very tragic and difficult situation and it's a really tough time for him and his family. The fact that he showed up and showed support to these kids. It's amazing."
The night started on the field with the announcement of each new player on the Phanavision, followed by a pizza party with the Phanatic and time in the batting cages.
"It's fun. My favorite part is being in the locker room," said Bella Xavier of Newark, Delaware
These kids may get some batting practice, but they need no practice being brave. Cole here just left the hospital to come here today and may have to return as early as tomorrow.
Ten-year-old Cole Mulholland of Brigantine New Jersey has the mitochondrial disease for which there is no cure. His mother says Cole can't play sports or even go to school so this is a break from reality.
"It's nice to see these kids having a good time and all these kids can relate to each other," said Michele Mulholland.
Their individual struggles clearly overshadowing Kapler's loss on this night, and he'd have it no other way.
"I think I'll remember this forever. It's once in a lifetime," said Cole.
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Special sleepover for kids inside the Phillies clubhouse
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