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Yankees sign 10-year-old, cherish his day

Born with no hands or lower legs, Sims hangs out with players, takes BP
Special to MLB.com

TAMPA, Fla. -- The newest Yankee may be a member of the team for only a day, but he surely made memories for a lifetime.

The team signed 10-year-old Landis Sims, who was born with no hands or lower legs, to a one-day contract. But that was just the beginning of a day that will not soon be forgotten by Sims or any of the players with whom he shared a clubhouse and uniform on Monday.

TAMPA, Fla. -- The newest Yankee may be a member of the team for only a day, but he surely made memories for a lifetime.

The team signed 10-year-old Landis Sims, who was born with no hands or lower legs, to a one-day contract. But that was just the beginning of a day that will not soon be forgotten by Sims or any of the players with whom he shared a clubhouse and uniform on Monday.

Sims has a deep connection to the Yankees that dates back to a previous visit two years ago. Manager Joe Girardi raved about the team's opportunity to bring in the 10-year-old middle infielder. It was clear the day might have been as special for the Yankees as for their young guest.

Tweet from @a_miller48: Great to get back out on the mound today but nothing compared to Landis Sims joining the team. Amazing kid! https://t.co/6uyavWk9gq

"He was outstanding, just a special kid," Girardi said of Sims, who was represented by Yankees lefty CC Sabathia for the signing of the contract. "He's overcome extraordinary obstacles to be the kid he came to be. That's special for all of us.

"I was very proud how all the players responded to him. That was great to see. ... That's a lesson for all of us."

Sims signed his deal during the team's pre-workout meeting on Monday morning. He chatted with stars like Alex Rodriguez in the clubhouse and proceeded to take batting practice with a group that also included Mark Teixeira and Rodriguez. He made solid contact throughout the session and even sent a well-struck ball right back at the pitcher.

Tweet from @YankeesPR: Landis Sims also signed a one-day contract w/ the @yankees and hung out along with his family in the clubhouse. pic.twitter.com/IXb9epHc88

Rodriguez in particular got a thrill out of the afternoon with Sims, tweeting pictures of the adventure and writing, "So grateful that I got to spend time with Landis Sims today. A true inspiration."

Sims is able to bat with the aid of a special prosthetic that cups the bat. On the defensive end, a soccer shin guard is inserted into his glove. The setup works well enough that he plays Little League baseball competitively in Elizabeth, Ind., a small town outside of Louisville, Ky.

Tweet from @YankeesPR: Earlier today, Landis Sims reminded the @yankees why we all love baseball #morethanagame pic.twitter.com/7knpx7FpOO

During his previous trip to Yankees Spring Training, Sims got to meet his hero, Derek Jeter.

"We got word that he'd like to come back, and we made it happen," said Jason Zillo, a member of the Yankees' media relations team. "[Girardi] took him under his wing and we rolled out the red carpet for him."

Tweet from @AROD: So grateful that I got to spend time with Landis Sims today. A true inspiration. #RealCourage #ThankYouLandis pic.twitter.com/fpNYpz7y9P

Filmmaker Eric Cochran is chronicling Sims' experiences, including his Little League play, and the initial footage was screened to the team before the team's workout. Sims was given a locker, played games and received autographs from players; the bat A-Rod signed read, "To a great teammate." He also brought the lineup card out before the club's 1-0 loss to the Astros at George M. Steinbrenner Field.

Tweet from @JLindgren19: Good to meet Landis Simms today. Got to love a kid who pursues his dream no matter what obstacles stand in the way! pic.twitter.com/VPcjjvtTJq

"I think he had a lot of fun," Zillo said. "He wants to play for the Yankees, and it's inspiring to see somebody like that."

Greg Zeck is a contributor to MLB.com.

 

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