A very special first pitch
The Yankees had Day 2 of HOPE Week (Helping Others Persevere and Excel) on Tuesday, heading to Greenwich Village to meet with Tom Ellenson – a sixth-grader with cerebral palsy who has been named the ‘Most Valuable Person’ of his league champion A’s team.
Alex Rodriguez, Andy Pettitte, Joba Chamberlain and Kevin Long all headed to J.J. Walker Field to conduct a rally and clinic. Tom may not be able to take the field during games, but he has been as much a part of the team as anyone. Introducing the Yankees at the clinic, Tom recited his rallying cry: “We play as one, we win as one!”
As the A’s ‘MVP,’ Tom’s responsibilities include keeping score, programming the lineup into his computer for printouts, playing music that would inspire the team to victory and leading the roster onto the field for each game. The story was an inspiration for the Yankees.
“I’m a parent and I’ve got four kids, so my kids have been off to Little League,” Pettitte said. “Just to see him whenever the kids come around him, how excited he gets and how much these kids love him, he’s a part of the team. It’s just a great story. If your heart can’t be touched by something like this, you don’t have a heart.”
Before Tuesday’s game, the A’s handed the ball one by one down from the mound, where Tom delivered it to the Yankees waiting at home plate.