pavin smith

Want a feel-good sports story this Christmas season? Look no further than Pavin Smith, a minor-league baseball player in the Arizona Diamondbacks’ farm system.

Smith, who played college ball at Virginia, was selected No. 7 overall in last summer’s MLB Draft, inking a $5,016,300 signing bonus in the process. This week, he put that cash to good use, paying off the mortgage to his parents’ home.

Athletes often treat their parents to homes or cars or other luxuries, but Smith, 21, happened to film his folks’ reaction, and the video has now gone viral.

“Thank you for raising me in a great home filled with love. Because of all the sacrifices you made, I want our family home to be yours,” Smith wrote in a letter to his parents, causing both of them to break down.

The video is just beautiful all around, from Smith’s mother’s tears to her son’s proud smile.

Smith’s $5 million signing bonus sounds like a lot of money, but considering that he’ll spend the next few years making below minimum wage and has no guarantee of ever cashing in again, it’s not as if a mortgage (or even a chunk of one) represents chump change.

Put another way, Pavin Smith probably got his parents a better gift than you got yours.

About Alex Putterman

Alex is a writer and editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. He has written for The Atlantic, VICE Sports,, and more. He is a proud alum of Northwestern University and The Daily Northwestern. You can find him on Twitter @AlexPutterman.