The New York Yankees have been quite un-Yankee-like this past offseason, not spending money on any big name free agents. They did acquire Aroldis Chapman and Starlin Castro by trading for them. But, the most welcomed new player in spring training is a name you’ve never heard of, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t deserve recognition. Landis Sims signed a one-day contract with the Yankees. Sims isn’t some undrafted rookie or a player who’s been under the radar playing in the Korea Baseball Organization. Landis Sims is a 10-year-old boy who loves to play baseball despite not having legs or hands.
On Monday, Sims signed a one-day contract with the New York Yankees with the help of his agent, CC Sabathia. Sims, who is from Elizabeth, Indiana, had his dreams come true as he took batting practice with the team at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Florida.
Sims was not starstruck by seeing professional ballplayers, he met with the team two years ago and was able to hang out with his idol, Derek Jeter. Landis even pays homage to his hero by rocking Jeter-themed prosthetic legs.
Landis has born with no lower legs or hands, and despite that condition he has been playing baseball since he was 4-years-old.
“He was afraid he couldn’t throw, because he throws two-handed,” his mom, Amanda, told Ryan Hatch of NJ.com. “So we tried a couple things — he played soccer a little bit, and hated it — so I’m like, we have these old soccer shin guards, and that will give you support. We went through a few of these and this is the system we’ve come up with … this way he can fling (the ball).”
Back home, Landis plays second base, but looked great in pinstripes.
“People can overcome extraordinary circumstances,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi told ESPN. “It’s amazing what the mind can do.”
Landis took some BP with Alex Rodriguez and Mark Texeira, where he gave A-Rod a few pointers on batting.
“We’re giving each other hitting lessons, trying to help each other out,” Rodriguez said.
Sims chilled in the clubhouse with his new teammates in the clubhouse and even delivered the Yankees’ lineup card to the umpires before their game against the Houston Astros.
“He was outstanding, just a special kid,” Girardi said of Sims. “He’s overcome extraordinary obstacles to be the kid he came to be. That’s special for all of us.”