River Cats in the house

Players, manager visit patients at Sutter Rehabilitation Institute
By: Sena Christian, The Press Tribune
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Patrick O’Hearon sat in a wheelchair, his excitement growing as he shuffled his physical therapists out of his room to make space for arriving guests. O’Hearon was one of several patients at the Sutter Rehabilitation Institute in Roseville treated to a visit with Sacramento River Cats first baseman Wes Timmons, third baseman Josh Horton and manager Darren Bush on Friday. River Cats mascot Dinger was also a fan favorite as he walked around fist pumping and shaking his booty. O’Hearon, who arrived at the center June 3 following a stroke, wore a Minnesota Twins T-shirt and talked to the players about attending a Major League Baseball game recently in his hometown. “I went to see the Twins last year at Target Field, their new field,” he said. “It was quite awesome.” The athletes headed off to find the next patient in the 55,000-square-foot facility on the Sutter Roseville Medical Center campus. The inpatient rehabilitation center provides therapeutic care for people recovering from strokes, brain injuries, trauma and other disabiling conditions. The players soon found Tommie McKinney, of Yuba City, who chatted with the guys about pitching speeds and who got drafted to the Oakland A’s this week. He shared a few stories about former Los Angeles Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda. McKinney has been at the center since May 31, after he broke his neck during a 15-foot fall from a ladder in his yard. “Thank you guys for coming and supporting your community out here,” McKinney said. Before saying goodbye, he wished them luck “getting to the next level.” Sena Christian can be reached at