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New York Yankees Continue HOPE Week By Honoring N.J. 5-Year-Old

BRONX, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) - The New York Yankees are continuing HOPE Week - their week of honoring special people and organizations.

On Wednesday, they honored a special five-year-old in New Jersey who won't let a disability get in the way of pursuing his dream of playing baseball, WCBS 880's Marla Diamond reported.

WCBS 880's Marla Diamond On The Story


Little Andy Fass of Hamilton has a form of albinism that has left him legally blind.

"We were told at four months he would not be able to drive or play baseball," his mother Jill said.

But a chance encounter in April gave Andy a chance to see himself in a new light.

"We went to a Trenton Thunder game and Andy Pettitte walked by and gave my son the ball," Jill told Diamond. "My husband had to tell him what it was, and then he started watching the game, because we were close to the game... and he said he wanted to play T-ball."

Diamond asked Andy if he had a favorite Yankees player.

"Yes. Andy Pettitte," said Andy. "Because he's the best player in the world."

On Wednesday, before Pettitte took the mound, little Andy got to throw out the ceremonial first pitch.

Andy Fass CC Sabathia Yankee Stadium HOPE Week
Andy Fass with CC Sabathia at Yankee Stadium - Bronx, NY - Jun 27, 2012 (credit: Marla Diamond / WCBS 880)

CC Sabathia, Phil Hughes, and Clay Rapada also visited with him at Yankee Stadium.

CC Sabathia Phil Hughes Clay Rapada
CC Sabathia, Phil Hughes, and Clay Rapada at Yankee Stadium - Bronx, NY - Jun 27, 2012 (credit: Marla Diamond / WCBS 880)

They gave him a bag full of goodies, including baseball gear. Andy held each item very close to his eyes.

"It's not a death sentence," his father Mark said. "Andy just has to do things differently and he does it with a smile on his face. It really rubs off on us."

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