Disabled teen athlete inspires Padres Joe Musgrove – NBC 7 San Diego
Landis Sims, 15, lives his life with a motto: “Look at me. “
On Sunday, a lot of people “just watched” the Sims take the field at Petco Park and play wrestling with Padres pitcher Joe Musgrove.
Musgrove was easy to spot – he’s 6-foot-5 and is one of the top players on one of the best teams in Major League Baseball.
Sims was also easy to spot. He was the only one in the field with two prosthetic legs and no hands. You see, the Indiana teenager was born with no hands or legs below the knees.
“It’s amazing man,” Musgroves told NBC 7 when asked to play wrestling with The Sims. “He’s clearly at a disadvantage compared to other baseball players, but he understands the situation he’s in and that he’s going to be limited in some areas, but he’s pretty impressive.”
It wasn’t Musgrove’s first interaction with The Sims. As an aspiring young baseball player, Sims was fortunate to form relationships with various MLB players, including Musgrove. Over the years, the Grossmont High School alum has texted Sims, met him to share and teach baseball skills and be right there to talk when needed.
Despite his disability, Sims plays baseball against able-bodied children from T-ball. This was followed by little league and now high school baseball.
Musgrove is amazed at the progress Sims has made as a player, “The guy’s state of mind is stronger than anyone I’ve met. He’s a smart kid, very coachable, I worked with him a handful of times. The adjustments he’s made are impressive. “
Playing wrestling with Musgrove on the field before the game was just one of the highlights of the Sims day. The Padres and Challenged Athletes (CAF) Foundation has teamed up to make this day a special day for Landis.
After arriving at Petco Park at 10 a.m. on Sunday, dressed in a Musgrove 44 jersey, the Padres gave the Sims a brown Padres hat, then escorted him upstairs to a suite inside. Petco Park.
There, CAF presented Sims with a limited edition pair of Fernando Tatis Jr. sunglasses. The specific model was not even available to the public at the time. The glasses, called “Tatis 23 Limited Edition”, are a collaboration between the Padres star and 100%, a company that manufactures sports equipment. The Tatis-inspired glasses will be available for public purchase on Monday.
Right before putting the golden sunglasses on his face, Sims called Tatis Jr. “one of his favorite gamers.”
The star treatment was only just beginning, as Padres general manager Erik Greupner walked in and presented the Sims with an honorary contract, making Sims a Padre for the day. Landis called the contract “incredible”.
After signing the contract, Sims took to the field to meet with Musgrove for a game of wrestling.
The Sims fit right into the big league field. Although he had no hands, he skillfully grabbed and kicked the ball with Musgrove. Using specially designed equipment on his wrist to keep his glove in place, Simsis is able to catch the ball, then do a few quick maneuvers and throw the ball using his glove.
We’re not talking about throwing the ball a few yards. Sims was right inside first base, while Musgrove was near home plate, the wrestling game covered nearly 80 feet.
After playing wrestling, Musgrove gave the Sims some advice, then they chatted and planned to meet soon.
When asked what was the favorite part of his day, Sims sighed, smiled and said, “Well they’re all equally good, but if I had to choose I’d say sign the contract.”
As Sims made her way through her dream day Padre, her mother Amanda was never far away, smiling proudly the entire time.
Amanda calls her son a “game changer”.
“Twenty, thirty years ago a kid who wanted to play baseball, even if he was missing a hand or a leg, would have been a big deal, but here Landis is missing both hands and both feet and is really changing the way. look of baseball, “she said.
“The acceptance that the game looks like it was 20 years ago, and there is a place for someone who has a passion for the game, no matter what they look like physically,” he said. she declared.
When asked what was her favorite time of day, Mom replied, “Every time I see him throw, in a mom’s heart, it’s the best.”
Sims is entering his sophomore year at South Central High School in Indiana. Besides baseball, Sims also plays on the school basketball team.
A film crew followed him for much of his life and documented his willingness to play sports. The documentary “Just Watch Me” is due out soon.
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