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Landis takes on Big Apple

Landis takes on Big Apple
Landis takes on Big Apple
Landis Sims, of Elizabeth, throws out the first pitch at Yankee Stadium in June. Photos courtesy Amanda Hagg, MLB Baseball

June is a busy month for Major League Baseball executives and scouts.
Landis Sims, an 11-year-old from Elizabeth, got a taste of the experience when he visited Yankee Stadium on June 11.
Born without his full limbs (congenital limb deficiency), Sims has continued to be an inspirational story not only locally, but nationally. With big dreams of playing for the Yankees one day, Sims was invited to throw out the first pitch at Yankee Stadium on June 11, a day the pinstripes took on the Baltimore Orioles.
The day also included a tour of the clubhouse and visiting manager Joe Girardi’s office.
Sims’ trip to New York didn’t stop after watching the Yankees win the game 14-3 via a pair of Aaron Judge home runs; he also was invited to the MLB Draft held in Secaucus, N.J.
Taking place the next day on June 12, Sims was in the MLB Network’s Studio 42 with some of the top prospects and key members of every baseball organization. He spent time with Cincinnati Reds’ pick Hunter Greene, fresh off an appearance on the cover of Sports Illustrated. The Angels’ pick ‘ Jordon Adell ‘ is from across the river in Louisville. He sought out Sims to strike up a conversation, according to Sims’ mother, Amanda Haag.
Sims, a huge Yankees fan, also took center stage at the podium to announce New York’s pick. He was the only guest announcer at the MLB Draft, as commissioner Rob Manfred handled the remaining 35 selections of the first round.
With little hesitations, Sims announced, ‘With the 16th selection, the New York Yankees select Clarke Schmidt, a right-hander from the University of South Carolina, Columbia, S.C. The Seattle Mariners have the next pick.’
It was Sims’ second trip to Studio 42. Earlier in the year, he stopped by there to hang out with MLB personalities Eric Byrnes, Kevin Millar, Mark DeRosa, Mike Lowell and others to play whiffle ball. Millar was able to set up a video call with one of Sims’ favorite players, Brian McCann, who went on to hit a home run for Sims. Video footage from that day was turned into a feature story on Sims before making the Yankees’ pick.
With the assistance of Challenged Athletes Foundation along with film producer Eric Cochran, Sims has not only basked in the MLB experience, he’s also taken part in the Endeavor Games.
Haag said Cochran continues to film Sims for his documentary, including having access at Yankee Stadium when Sims threw out the first pitch.
For more information about the documentary, visit www.landisdocumentary.com.

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