On the afternoon the World Series started, MLB Umpires took time out to deliver smiles to kids undergoing treatment at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.

MLB Umpires Ryan Blakney and Jeremie Rehak caught up with kids via Zoom, explaining umpire signals and playing games as UMPS CARE Charities shipped 100 Build-A-Bear® furry friends, outfits and baseball activity books to add to the excitement of the day.

The event was supported by the St. Louis Cardinals, who provided 100 Cardinals-themed blankets and 100 Cardinals wall signs to patients at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.

Usually, the umpires visit the kids in person, but with COVID restrictions in place, UMPS CARE has pivoted to ensure that we continue to deliver smiles to kids who are isolated now more than ever.

In the spirit of Halloween, UMPS CARE shipped Build-A-Bear® furry friends, but also Halloween-themed costumes for them.

On the flip side, the patients did a little tricking of the umpires.

The kids had fun calling in and having Ryan and Jeremie play a game called Beanboozled. For those at home who are not familiar with the game, Beanboozled is a box of jelly beans of many colors. The game line dares candy lovers to try their luck with look-alike pairs of jelly beans. Each color is either a tasty flavor or a weird one. The person may find berry blue or toothpaste, marshmallow or stinky socks, lime or boogers – you get the concept. 

The kids would call from their hospital room and have the umpires pick a color from a Beanboozled set they had at home.

The fun comes when you see the guys choking back a stinky one.  Let’s just put it this way – it might be a while before these guys grab a handful of jelly beans. 

Here’s a VIDEO of Jeremie (with his 3-year-old son) sampling a flavor. 

(Click HERE )

These umpires truly are GREAT sports! 

“All of us at UMPS CARE Charities are so grateful to our partners at St. Louis Children’s Hospital and the St. Louis Cardinals, who have made this event possible during these challenging times,” said Jennifer Skolochenko-Platt, Executive Director at UMPS CARE Charities. “Some of these kids will be spending Halloween in the hospital, so we wanted to bring a little Trick Or Treat spirit to them. Our goal is to deliver some smiles to kids who need them most.”

UMPS CARE Charities wishes to thank Cardinals Care and St. Louis Children’s Hospital for their partnership for this event.

(Photos Courtesy of St. Louis Children’s Hospital)