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World Series a special moment for young people

Teen visits Fall Classic through Make-A-Wish; Breaking Barriers essay winner honored
@alysonfooter
October 25, 2019

HOUSTON -- One major component of the World Series each year is the incorporation of young people into the celebration of Major League Baseball's crown jewel event. The long-standing relationship with groups such as the Make-A-Wish Foundation is front and center each year, with MLB hosting scores of young people

HOUSTON -- One major component of the World Series each year is the incorporation of young people into the celebration of Major League Baseball's crown jewel event.

The long-standing relationship with groups such as the Make-A-Wish Foundation is front and center each year, with MLB hosting scores of young people and their families in recognition of the strong ties that exist between baseball and its partners.

Game Date Result Highlights
Gm 1 Oct. 22 WSH 5, HOU 4 Watch
Gm 2 Oct. 23 WSH 12, HOU 3 Watch
Gm 3 Oct. 25 HOU 4, WSH 1 Watch
Gm 4 Oct. 26 HOU 8, WSH 1 Watch
Gm 5 Oct. 27 HOU 7, WSH 1 Watch
Gm 6 Oct. 29 WSH 7, HOU 2 Watch
Gm 7 Oct. 30 WSH 6, HOU 2 Watch

Before Game 1 of the World Series between the Nationals and Astros in Houston, MLB hosted 19-year-old Logan Carman from Tamarac, Fla., who through Make-A-Wish attended batting practice and met with players from both teams. He obtained autographs from Astros third baseman Alex Bregman and pitcher Brad Peacock, who grew up in the same general area of Florida as Carman. Carman also met Nationals stars Juan Soto and Ryan Zimmerman.

"Being out on the field and interacting with everyday baseball has been amazing," Carman said.

During a conversation on the field with Commissioner Rob Manfred, Carman said he grew up playing baseball and always wanted to come to the World Series. When Make-A-Wish contacted him two years ago, a plan was hatched to eventually make that wish a reality.

"The best part is you come here and see the players," Manfred said to Carman, adding that the foundation has always been special to him and his family.

Carman, his mother and his cousin attended both games in Houston.

"I kind of come from a baseball family," Carman said, listing Max Scherzer, Javier Báez and Kris Bryant as his favorite players. "I went to Marlins games all the time. I've played baseball since I was 8. It's been growing ever since."

Make-A-Wish grants wishes for children diagnosed with critical illnesses. In the United States and its territories, on average, a wish is granted every 34 minutes. Since 2000, MLB has granted more than 100 wishes to attend the All-Star Game and World Series games.

Before Game 2, MLB honored Eliza Smith, a ninth grader from Surgoinsville, Tenn., as the winner of the 2019 Breaking Barriers: In Sports, In Life essay contest.

Smith, who was recognized on the field during the pregame ceremony, was one of two grand prize winners, selected out of thousands of essays written from around the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada. In her essay, Eliza described her battle with anorexia nervosa, a potentially life-threatening eating disorder, and how she relied on persistence to overcome her inner turmoil and conflict barrier.

As Smith took in batting practice and met Astros star second baseman José Altuve on Wednesday, she noted that she hopes her story will help inspire others who are struggling with an issue.

"I know that the barrier I had to break through resonates with more people than just myself and it means something,” she said. "To know it's nothing that I caused and I can use it to help others to raise awareness for it … so many people have struggled with it, more than I could know. To be able to have this opportunity is nice."

The essay contest is the central component of the Breaking Barriers educational program, led by Major League Baseball, Scholastic and Sharon Robinson. Breaking Barriers is designed to educate students in grades four through nine about the values demonstrated by Jackie Robinson as he broke baseball’s color barrier in 1947, and how to apply them to their own lives.

Alyson Footer is a national correspondent for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @alysonfooter.