Sunday, August 23, 2009

ESPN to Shine Light on Hope Week

This from ESPN:

ESPN’s E:60 Reports on Special Day at Yankee Stadium for Young Fan

ESPN's award-winning primetime newsmagazine E:60 visits New York’s Yankee Stadium in the episode airing Tuesday, Aug. 25, at 7 p.m. ET. Yankee players Andy Pettite, Joba Chamberlain and Alex Rodriguez befriended an 11-year-old boy and gave his little league baseball team a memorable experience.

ESPN’s E:60, which launched in October 2007, combines investigative reporting, in-depth profiles of intriguing sports personalities and features on emerging star athletes. These stories are presented in a fresh and innovative format that incorporates producer/correspondent meetings.

Yankee Boy

The story of 11-year-old Tom Ellenson is an extraordinary one. Growing up with cerebral palsy, Ellenson could not walk or speak. But his father created a device that allowed him to communicate as a kid his age would, and his “voice” inspired a little league baseball team in New York City to excel. Ellenson’s magic touch with the team got the attention of the New York Yankees, and Andy Pettite, Joba Chamberlain and Alex Rodriguez visited Ellenson and his teammates. Then, the Yankees gave Ellenson and his teammates a day at Yankee Stadium they will never forget. ESPN’s E:60 was given exclusive access to document Ellenson’s day spent with the Yankees, including a ceremonial first pitch different than any other first pitch in Major League Baseball history. Rachel Nichols reports.

If you're reading this, chances are you remember Hope Week, which the Yankees did just after the All Star Break.

Aside from the obvious good karma--the Yankees won eight straight right after the break, including every game that week--Hope Week has been hailed by many for the involvement of the entire Yankee team in the community.

The kids from Camp Sundown were featured in a Rick Riley ESPN the Magazine column; now E:60 will focus on another of the Hope Week participants.

It is enormously heartwarming to see Hope Week continue--even in the guise of an ESPN documentary series.