Phils to honor legacy of bullied boy

Give an assist to the Philadelphia Phillies for standing up against violence and bullying.

On May 29, the Phillies will honor Bailey O’Neill, a 12-year-old who died nearly two months after being punched by a fellow student. O’Neill, an avid Phillies and Philadelphia Flyers fan who played Little League baseball in Delaware County, was punched Jan. 10. He suffered violent seizures a few weeks later, ended up in a medically induced coma and was taken off life support and died March 3.

O’Neill’s father, Robert, who attended a Phillies game with his son last Aug. 26, has started a campaign to stop bullying, called “Battle for Bailey.” An online campaign at helped Robert O’Neill in raising Bailey’s profile this week — almost 15,000 signatures were on the petition by 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

Phillies director of public affairs Scott Palmer told he had been paying attention to Bailey’s tragic story. After noticing the increase in support, the Phillies decided to honor Bailey at the May 29 home game against the Boston Red Sox.

“This is wonderful news, and we’re so thankful for the Phillies to reach out to our family and dedicate a home game to Bailey’s memory,” Robert O’Neill told "It’s so exciting that people want to see this for Bailey.

“We look forward to working with the Phillies to make sure the game raises awareness about the dangers of bullying and helps educate our youth.”