Home runs from catcher/first baseman Carlos Santana and second baseman Jason Kipnis Saturday, August 24th garnered the Cleveland Indians media attention. Reportedly prior to the game an eight year old Tribe fan Niko Lanzarotta asked both players to hit home runs for him. The feel good twist to the story comes with the fact Niko lives with cerebral palsy.
Really I’m amazed at exactly how much talk the story stimulated. My August 27th Google Alerts “cerebral palsy” email contained coverage from News Net 5, Fox Sports, Syracuse.com, Waiting for Next Year Blog, and Larry Brown Sports. Yeah, I double checked to confirm I didn’t mistakenly click my Google Alerts “Cleveland” message.
Now my initial reaction after reading about the occurrence the day prior went something like “Cute story” and I proceeded with my day. Personally I didn’t consider the happening worthwhile enough to share via social media. Yet the continued reporting finally broke me and I quipped on Facebook.
To think too I would’ve been eight years old during the 1995 season allows me to appreciate how much Niko must’ve enjoyed the blasts from Santana and Kipnis. I mean what if I could say when I was eight, third baseman Jim Thome and right fielder Manny Ramirez blasted homers for me? Or, center fielder Kenny Lofton stole a base for me. Or, shortstop Omar Vizquel turned a double play for me. Or, my favorite player starter Charles Nagy struck out a batter for me.
So yes, I get Niko’s feel good emotions and I’m happy for him. Imagine the coolness when on the first day of school his classmates asked “What did you do this summer?” The answer, “Have Santana and Kipnis hit home runs for me.” Yeah, try topping that. 🙂