Saturday, 01 Oct 2022

'Bats Out For Lazar.' Little Leaguers, Mets honor 10-year-old who died after baseball game in Long Beach

'Bats Out For Lazar.' Little Leaguers, Mets honor 10-year-old who died after baseball game in Long Beach

Tributes are pouring in for a 10-year-old Little Leaguer who died last week after playing a baseball game in Long Beach. Lazar LaPenna's love of baseball is now being recognized and honored by Little League teams - not only on Long Island, but also around the country and within Major League Baseball."It was unbelievable to see the Mets, Lazar's favorite team, you know, step up and put the bats out and, you know, really promote it on a national level," says Merrick Bellmore Little League president Nick Ippoliti. The social media hashtag "Bats Out For Lazar" started on Long Island with families leaving bats outside their front doors and posting the photo. Posts are now being seen from Little League families across the country, the Mets and MLB. Massapequa High School's baseball team are leaving their "bats out for Lazar."

Coaches say they will sit outside the dugout all night to honor the 10-year-old. "We're trying to do anything we can to help support Lazar and his family and it seems very little and small, but anything you could do to help support the family in this time, is worth it," says Chris Cafiero, pitching coach for the Massapequa High School baseball team. He says people come together as a community of baseball and they are giving "a little something back to Lazar."

Ippoliti says in addition to putting the bats out to honor the fourth grader who died Friday, his league and others on Long Island are asking current and former Little Leaguers to wear a Little League jersey or their favorite sports team's jersey this Monday for LaPenna. "The ninth's a very important day, the ninth is Lazar's favorite number, the ninth is Monday obviously and it seemed to go hand in hand with being a special day to promote his life," Ippoliti says. Little League teams across Long Island have also been holding a moment of silence before their games since LaPenna's death to honor his memory.

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