Red Sox players bring smiles to faces at CT children’s hospital

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Baseball season is over, but in the off-season some Red Sox players are scoring big with young fans at Yale-New Haven Children’s and Smilow Cancer Hospitals.

You can’t help but get caught up in the frenzy when Red Sox players and Wally the Green Monster show up.

Pitcher Craig Breslow, led the way for teammates Andrew Bailey, Ryan Lavarnway and Pedro Ceriaco, in what has become a holiday treat for patients at Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital and Smilow Cancer Hospital .

“Obviously no one wants to be in the hospital, especially over the holidays,” said Breslow. “It’s the time to be with friends and family. If we can shed light of the season, then it’s worthwhile.”

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Creating memories for young fans, no matter who their home team is.

“When the kids are here trying to get better and going through their daily routines and if we can come in here and put a little smile on their face,” said Bailey, “or just shed some light on them for a couple of days, it really helps with their treatments and their mentality as well.”

Pitcher Andrew Bailey lives in Connecticut.

“I actually have a five-month-old who was here at Yale Children’s for two months after she was born,” Bailey said. “This place is very dear to my heart and my wife’s heart as well.”

Cancer patient Sebastian Sakakini was still beaming long after meeting the pro athletes.

“Yeah, I like Boston teams better,” Sakakini said. “It was pretty cool. I wouldn’t think they would come. It was fun having them here.”

Trumbull native and Yale standout Craig Breslow points out, it’s a win-win for all.

“Selfishly, we enjoy it as much or more than they do,” Breslow said. “The chance to impact these kids and to see how inspirational and how strong and resilient they can be is a greater lesson for us than it is for them.”

Craig Breslow founded Strike 3 Foundation , inspired by his older sister Leslie, a childhood cancer survivor who was treated at Yale-New Haven. It supports a number of national programs, including recently funding pediatric bone marrow transplantation at Smilow.

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