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LIBERAL, Kan. (AP) — Family, friends and teammates of a 9-year-old Kansas batboy who died when he was accidentally hit by a bat honored him Tuesday as an inspiration whose smile brightened people’s day.

Several hundred people attended the funeral for Kaiser Carlile at the Seward County Community Center gymnasium. Kaiser died Aug. 2, a day after he was hit in the head by a player’s swing near the on-deck circle during a National Baseball Congress World Series game in Wichita.

His Liberal Bee Jays teammates, including the player involved in the accident, attended the funeral The Wichita Eagle reported ( ). The player, whose name has not been released, walked into the ceremony with his parents and Kaiser’s family.

His parents thanked those in attendance and others across the nation who have sent support and prayers since their son’s death.

“Thank you all from the bottom of my heart,” Kaiser’s father, Chad Carlile, said. “You guys have also shown a lot of support for us. Our daughter, I couldn’t express how much she loves you. I might have lost a son in this tragedy, but I feel like I’ve gained a family.”

Kaiser’s mother, Gayle, said her Christian faith and love from friends, family and strangers have given her comfort.

“I know a lot of people are very worried about us right now,” she said. “I want to thank everybody because the prayers are working. God has his hand on us right now and that’s the only way we’re getting through this.”

Liberal Bee Jays Coach Adam Anderson remembered how Kaiser took his batboy job very seriously but also helped the team enjoy the game.

“We all noticed how serious Kaiser was about winning that batboy job,” Anderson said. “He would make these players’ day, and my day, just by showing up with that smile on his face.”

Pastor Rex Petty said Kaiser touched many people during his lifetime.

“Kaiser lived well, and he lived too short,” Petty said near the end of the hourlong funeral.


Information from: The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle,