CLEVELAND-- Dreams really do come true. This past weekend, an 8-year-old from Strongsville got more than he or his family bargained for after they met two Cleveland Indians players before Saturday's game with the Minnesota Twins.
The Indians play 162 games every season, but Saturday's game at Progressive Field may have been the biggest for Mike Lanzarotta and his family.
"That will be the biggest game for us ever,” said Mike.
8-year-old Dominic, better known as Nico, suffers from cerebral palsy. He was diagnosed when he was just 8 months old.
"He's had to work real hard through his life to get where he is at," Mike said.
Nico has an infatuation with the game of baseball.
"It all started with the Challengers baseball league, where it is a special needs league," said Mike.
The infatuation has turned into love, love of the Cleveland Indians and in particular, "41," said Dominic.
Number 41, the number of Nico's favorite player, catcher, Carlos Santana.
"It started last year and he would always say that is his boy," said Nico’s dad.
On Saturday before the Indians game with the Minnesota Twins, the Lanzarottas got to watch batting practice from the field.
Nico, got more than just an opportunity to watch the players warm up.
"Both bats," he said.
Both Jason Kipnis and Carlos Santana gave Nico their bat. In return, Nico asked for a favor.
"Hit a home run," said Nico.
Little did Nico or anyone else know, what was going to happen next.
Both Jason Kipnis and Carlos Santana hit home runs in the same game. Santana hit his in the first inning, Kipnis delivered in the 3rd.
"Awesome," said Dominic.
The 8-year-old's dream weekend weaves all the way to Mayfield High School; that is where special education tutor Megan Gillombardo works. She has the HR ball hit by Carlos Santana and now she wants to give it to Nico.
“I just wanted to make his dream come true,” she said. “I work with special needs students so it was really important to me to help finish this dream that Carlos and Jason Kipnis started."
A dream that has now become a reality.
Nico has been to six games over the past two years and the Indians record when Nico is in attendance is a perfect 6-0.
By the way, Nico's mom is expecting in weeks, ironically with twins!