SALEM, Va. (WFXR) — In March, community members in Bedford County banded together to search for 26-year-old Brent Gibson. Two weeks passed before his body was ultimately found in the Roanoke River, with the medical examiner’s office determining the cause of his death to be suicide.
As family and friends continue to mourn, the Salem Red Sox paid tribute to Gibson during their game against the Fredericksburg Nationals on Sunday, June 13.
Gibson’s family says he was a big-time fan of the Red Sox.
“This is something that Brent would wake up in the morning and be super excited for, spend all day getting ready for it. It’s something that would mean the world to him,” said Dawn Eanes, Gibson’s mother.
His younger brother, 18-year-old Jayson Eanes, says Gibson had a special place in his heart for baseball.
“Brent taught me everything I knew about baseball. We would always go to baseball games. He’d be at everyone I’d play at,” Jayson said.
During Sunday’s game, Jayson threw the first pitch, saying, “It’s different not having him here with me because usually, every baseball game I go to is with him. But I know he’s in spirit.”
Dawn says in order to cope with their loss, they’re doing all the things Gibson liked as a family.
“It’s something that you don’t expect to happen but when you do, the people around you make you feel loved,” said Dawn.
The Red Sox partnered with the AWARE Foundation to make sure Gibson’s family was able to do that.
“Just to be a small part of that process is great. I cant imagine how tough it may be for the family,” said Allen Lawrence, General Manager of the Salem Red Sox.
Jayson says he knows Gibson would’ve loved to share this experience with him.
“He’d be up in the stands with a big goofy smile on his face looking down at me,” Jayson said.