MLB

Young Indians fan returns to get home run balls

Share This Story

   
 

CLEVELAND (AP)

Niko Lanzarotta is becoming a fixture at Progressive Field. And that's just fine with the Cleveland Indians.

The 8-year-old Indians fan with cerebral palsy had a special wish granted last month at the ballpark and returned to see his favorite team play the New York Mets on Saturday.

Before the July 24 game against Minnesota, he asked Indians catcher Carlos Santana - his favorite player - and second baseman Jason Kipnis if they would hit a home run for him. In a script straight out of a movie, both came through. Before Saturday's game, Niko received the home run balls from the fans who caught them that night.

Niko and his parents watched the Indians take batting practice. He had his picture taken with Santana and Kipnis, and shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera gave him his batting gloves.

The Indians are undefeated when Niko attends a game. His story has gained a lot of attention locally and around the country. Niko, beaming with a grin from ear to ear, was surrounded by photographers as he and his father, Mike, and mother, Kasia, came on the field Saturday.

''It's been just phenomenal,'' Mike Lanzarotta said. ''Friends have told me that we've become stars. I tell them, `I'm not the star. He is. I'm just the agent.'''

Niko, wearing an Indians T-shirt with Santana's name and No. 41 on the back, talked with several players and got autographs.

Niko and his family live in suburban Strongsville. Niko was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at eight months. In addition to following the Indians, Niko plays baseball in an area league that's open to children with disabilities.

In addition to all the fun with the home runs, it looks as if Niko could be a big brother soon. Kasia Lanzarotta is expecting twins.

Tagged: Indians, Carlos Santana

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by



MLB Videos

Wilson plays hero in Rangers' win over A's Posted: Apr 23, 2014
Josh Wilson gives his thoughts on his play following the Rangers' win over the O...

Padres best Brewers in extras Posted: Apr 23, 2014
Chris Denorfia comments on the win over Milwaukee.

Brewers fall to Padres in 12 innings Posted: Apr 23, 2014
Ron Roenicke on the Brewers' pitching after the loss.

SimLeague Baseball - Simulation Baseball Game

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Nike New York Yankees Practice T-Shirt - Ash http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_York_Yankees/browse/featuredproduct/606363/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_606000/ff_606363_xl.jpg&w=100 27.95 Nike New York Yankees Practice T-Shirt - Ash
    Majestic Detroit Tigers 2012 MLB American League Champions Clubhouse Locker Room T-Shirt - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Detroit_Tigers/browse/featuredproduct/1064043/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1064000/ff_1064043_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Majestic Detroit Tigers 2012 MLB American League Champions Clubhouse Locker Room..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room T-Shirt - Gray http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067359/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067359_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker R..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room Pullover Hoodie - Steel http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067382/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067382_xl.jpg&w=100 54.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker R..
    New Era San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room 39THIRTY Flex Hat - Charcoal/Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067785/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067785_xl.jpg&w=100 31.95 New Era San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Ro..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Glory T-Shirt - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1068294/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1068000/ff_1068294_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Glory T-Shirt - Bl..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Batting Practice Performance Jersey - Black/Orange http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1068787/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1068000/ff_1068787_xl.jpg&w=100 94.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Batting Practice P..