Saturday, March 19, 2016


If you were anything like me when I was a kid, baseball was what your world revolved around. Playing baseball was all I ever wanted to do. Going down to Florida, or Arizona, to attend spring training is something I've never done but it is sure on my bucket list. The spring is a great time for young fans and their families. Many of the ball players and organizations know this and make it a point to make their young fans feel special.

Earlier in March, the Yankees signed 10 year-old Landis Sims to a one day contract and Landis got to spend the day as a member of the Yankees, read HERE. His agent, CC Sabathia, was there for the contract signing before the youngster joined the Yankees on the field to participate in batting practice. There is one big catch though; Landis Sims was born without hands or legs from the knee down. Needless to say, this was probably the best and most memorable moment of the kid's life.

All made possible by one simple thing: Baseball.

Manager Joe Girardi was all in for bringing Landis in to be an honorary member of the Bombers and the newly humbled Alex Rodriguez enjoyed spending time with the newest Yankee. This, to me, is what baseball is about.

On Wednesday another feel good story was shown by Yahoo. Chicago White Sox outfielder Adam Eaton noticed a young fan named Trevor King. What especially caught Eaton's eye was that King wasn't dealt the same set of cards most kids are; Trevor was born blind. Eaton took a minute or two to sign an autograph, take a quick photo and even gave the youngster a bat and a pair of batting gloves. I became a huge fan of Mr. Eaton after watching the video.

What even told more of the story though is what Eaton had to say afterward according to Yahoo:

"You always have to give back to those kids because at one point or another, you were that kid," Eaton said after the encounter. "I try to make it special for them, something they'll remember, because I know I wanted that to happen when I was a kid."

Those words are exactly how I feel. I'm 31 years-young and still look up to ballplayers and feel like a kid in a candy shop when I meet a pro baseball player. I had an opportunity to speak with Arizona Diamondbacks SS Nick Ahmad this winter and I thought it was the coolest thing. In my mind I was thinking, "Holy crap, I'm standing here talking to a big leaguer right now!" He was a great and humble kid who grew up just 20 minutes or so from where I live in western Massachusetts.

To me, baseball is the greatest game in the world. It's a game I love to death. I volunteer countless hours, as do so many of us youth coaches, to the game and the young players because it's a game that teaches young men so much.

So cheers to all the big leaguers that spend the extra minute or two to take the time to make a kids day and create a memory that they will never forget. Ball players are just regular guys with the unique ability to make a kid, or an adult for that matter, feel like a million bucks. Most of them seem to understand that and I respect the hell out of it.

While the list of reasons I love the game could go on forever, stories like these and the great men that play the game, make the top of the list.

Great job.

 --Dan Lucia
BYB Senior Writer
Twitter: @DManLucia

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