Hospital Surprises Mister Rogers’ Wife By Dressing Babies In Tiny Cardigans And Ties

Joanne Rogers went to a Pittsburgh hospital’s World Kindness and Cardigan Day event in honor of the late television icon and had a little surprise of her own.

It’s a beautiful day in the nursery.

A women’s hospital in Pittsburgh celebrated World Kindness Day Wednesday by welcoming Joanne Rogers — the wife of the late Fred “Mister” Rogers — and surprising her with babies dressed up as the beloved television icon.

The six newborns, who were all born on Nov. 11 or 12 at Pittsburgh’s UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital, wore tiny crocheted cardigans (complete with ties!) and sneakers that resemble the comfy pair Fred Rogers would change into at the beginning of each episode of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” which aired from 1968 to 2001.

A spokesperson for the hospital told HuffPost that Caitlin Pechin, a nurse who works at the hospital, made the adorable outfits. Each sweater took around two hours to make, while the booties took about 30 minutes.

World Kindness Day, a national observance that encourages people to engage in acts of kindness, also coincides with Cardigan Day, a social media movement spurred by WQED in Pittsburgh (where “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” was produced) that encourages people to wear the signature style of the children’s show star on Nov. 13.

But dressing up babies as mini Mister Rogers wasn’t the only thing the hospital did to welcome Joanne Rogers to its event.

A few hundred staff members also lined the railings of hospital’s lobby and greeted Rogers by singing “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” as she walked in. 

Joanne Rogers absolutely loved the surprises — especially the babies. She noted to the hospital in an interview sent to HuffPost that she had to restrain herself from holding each baby and joked that she was “being good” by not nuzzling each one. She also noted that Fred Rogers shared her appreciation.

“Fred really loved babies,” Joanne Rogers said. “And he was very comfortable with them, and they usually with him.”

Joanne Rogers also had one little surprise up (or rather on) her sleeve.

“I think the sweater I’m wearing right now was Fred’s,” Joanne revealed while she was at the hospital. “An early one that didn’t have the zipper. He went to zippers because when he was buttoning he would come out uneven at the bottom.”

She noted that Fred Rogers’ mom would make the Rogers family sweaters for Christmas every year, and everyone would receive one with buttons, except for Fred.

“She’d be handing out [sweaters], and she would say, ‘Oh, here’s yours, Fred. It has a zipper.’”

If that isn’t almost as cute as newborns dressed as Mister Rogers, we don’t know what is.