On Monday, the New York Yankees signed a new player in the team. He is neither flashy nor is he the type of player who can bring more wins to the ball club.
However, he could definitely bring inspiration to baseball fans all over the country.
Landis Sims, a 10-year-old boy who was born without hands and the lower part of his legs, was signed by the Yankees on a one-day minor league contract.
Team manager Joe Girardi, as well as players Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira, were present at Sims’s signing in Florida, which took place before the Yankees’ match against the Houston Astros.
— Alex Rodriguez (@AROD) March 7, 2016
Sims was represented by CC Sabathia, who negotiated the contract with team assistant general manager Jean Afterman. After the contract expires on Tuesday, he will receive an honorarium.
Sims, who hails from Elizabeth, Indiana, is a second baseman who does not have the part of his legs from the knees down. He wears prosthetic lower legs to help him walk and run.
Because Landis does not have any hands, he uses a soccer shin guard, which he inserts into his baseball glove in order to play defense. When he was still learning the sport, Sims only pitched using two hands because he couldn’t hold on to the ball.
Fortunately, the shin guards also worked wonders for Sims, who can now throw using just one of his arms.
Sims also uses another prosthetic accessory that enables him to “hold” the bat when swinging.
According to the report, Sims was supposedly just there to watch the Yankees practice on the field through the help of a Yankees public relations representative.
Boy born with no hands, lower legs signed by Yankees https://t.co/L4SztghJem
— Andrew Marchand (@AndrewMarchand) March 7, 2016
Girardi first met Sims two years ago, and escorted him to the boy’s baseball hero, Derek Jeter. In fact, he has Jeter’s No. 2 in the kneecap of his prosthetics.
The manager then invited Sims to spring training to provide inspiration to the Yankees.
Before the Yankees worked out on Monday, they watched a documentary that is currently being made by Eric Cochran. The documentary showed how Landis has been able to overcome his handicap through his positive attitude.
Girardi, Afterman, and communications director Jason Zillo then came up with the idea of a honorary contract for Sims to show their admiration for his inspiring attitude towards life.
“People can overcome extraordinary circumstances,” Girardi said in an interview. “It’s amazing what the mind can do.”
He added that Sims’ life and success in overcoming extraordinary obstacles would be a special lesson for the whole team.
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) March 8, 2016
According to Landis’ mom, Amanda Haag, she was devastated when she found out that her son did not have hands and lower legs.
“The first day was pretty devastating,” said Amanda, who is a high school teacher. “Then God started working and it has just been an amazing ride since then.”
She also said that at the tender age of two, Landis had already become a baseball fan.
Landis Sims, the Boy with No Hands, Developed an Early Love of Baseball
“When he got a bat and a ball, he was a fanatic,” Amanda said.
Sims’ disability did not hinder him from talking to some Yankees players like Teixeira and Rodriguez, who even signed his bat with the message, “To a great teammate, Alex Rodriguez.”
Landis even went to batting practice, to the delight of his one-day teammates.
Most of them were surprised to see Sims hit pitch after pitch consistently, which simply means that he is not just a beginner in the sport. He also kept sending the ball back up the middle.
“We’re giving each other hitting lessons, trying to help each other out,” said Rodriguez about the special boy with no hands.
[Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images]