Young cancer patients at Baltimore’s John’s Hopkins Childrens Center got some special visitors earlier this week when a quartet of major league umpires stopped by to brighten the kids’ days.
Umpires Jim Reynolds, Chris Guccione, John Tumpane and Shane Livensparger ditched their ball-and-strike counters and masks to spend time with the children as part of Umps Care Charities BLUE for Kids program. Umps Care Charities is the nonprofit founded by MLB Umpires to enrich the lives of at-risk youth and children coping with serious illness.
This was the 146th hospital visit that Major League Baseball umpires have hosted since the program began in 2006, and was the seventh of 15 scheduled visits during the 2018 season. The Baltimore-based Casey Cares helped make the Baltimore visit possible.
During their Tuesday morning visit, the four arbiters offered words of encouragement to the young patients and helped them construct Build-A-Bear stuffed animals. Each child was able to choose from a variety of pre-stuffed animals as well as clothing outfits for their new friend.
Bear-sized Orioles uniforms were on hand, as was the Oriole Bird, who delighted the patients with his antics.
Photo by Lea Alenandrine Photography