Here are the details of today’s HOPE Week event as provided by the Yankees…
The New York Yankees are proud to continue HOPE Week 2012 (Helping Others Persevere & Excel) on Wednesday by celebrating Andy Fass. Yankees players Andy Pettitte, Derek Jeter, CC Sabathia, Phil Hughes, Russell Martin, Clay Rapada and Chris Stewart along with third-base coach Rob Thomson and first base coach Mick Kelleher will honor Andy Fass’ perseverance to play tee-ball despite being legally blind. The Yankees have arranged for a surprise greeting for the Fass family at Wednesday’s game at approximately 11:00 a.m. Upon entering their Stadium suite, Andy will be surprised by Yankees players and family members who will reveal an additional postgame party at the MLB Fan Cave in Manhattan. Yankees players will escort the Fass family down to the Fan Cave for a private tee-ball lesson and other games with children who also have Andy’s condition of albinism.
THE STORY OF ANDY FASS:
A chance encounter gave five-year-old Andy Fass a new goal and hope. As someone who has a condition called oculocutaneous albinism, which affects approximately 40,000 people around the world, Andy is legally blind and without pigment in his skin, forcing him to avoid long exposure to the sun. Though Andy has always gravitated to people and many individual activities, he was told baseball would never be an option due to the contact and the chance of injury due to moving objects.
All of that changed, however, on April 25, 2012, when Andy Pettitte, who was making a start at Trenton, gave little Andy the baseball he was using to warm up. Encouraged by the gesture, little Andy – who was attending his first-ever professional baseball game – was immediately inspired to sign up for tee-ball and take on the challenge.