Episode 152 — Scott Yelle: Completing the Journey to 30, Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities, & Living Just Like Jackson

Scott Yelle is a life-long Red Sox fan living in Cape Cod, MA who discovered his love for baseball early thanks to Little League. Scott is also the Secretary and Treasurer of the Jackson Yelle Family Foundation, which is a non-profit foundation started to honor the legacy of his son Jackson, who was tragically killed by a hit-and-run driver while in Myrtle Beach with his club baseball team.

Jackson was known for his fun-loving nature and zest for life, and the Jackson Yelle Family Foundation is focused on continuing his legacy of bringing good into the world. Scott is currently on a journey to visit all 30 MLB ballparks, donating money at each stop to MLB and Nike’s RBI program (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities). 

Scott and Anna discuss the importance of youth sports, Scott’s favorite memories as a Red Sox fan and baseball dad, and what’s next for the family foundation.

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Instagram: @honoring.jacksonyelle
Website: jacksonyelle.com

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Read the full transcript

[00:00:00] Scott: I think we had gone to a, you know, a few games, and then I, I probably said as we were going to some baseball doubleheader on a weekend when he was playing travel ball, hey, let’s, let’s see if we can get to all 30, right? It’s something we could just do until Yes. You know, we’re both old and it didn’t really matter the age and something we could just kind of do and he’s like, yeah, let’s go for it.

[00:00:18] Scott: So that was the that was the initial piece of the quest and then so obviously he died last last April and then in September we decided hey, let’s let’s try to focus on the positive. Let’s try to find a way to keep doing good things In Jackson’s honor and hence we started the Jackson Yelle Family Foundation last September.

[00:00:38] Anna: What’s up bucketheads? Thanks for tuning in and welcome to episode number 152 of the Baseball Bucket List Podcast. I’m your host, Anna DiTommaso. And each week on the show, I speak with a different baseball fan about their favorite memories. What’s left on their baseball bucket list and what the game of baseball means to them. 

[00:00:57] Anna: This week, I had the pleasure of chatting with Scott Yelle from Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Scott is a lifelong Red Sox fan who found the game early in life thanks to a little league baseball and his time on the Mets. You may have heard the Yelle family story on the news or social media recently. Scott’s son Jackson was a junior at Elon University and was in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina with his club baseball team when he was tragically struck and killed by a hit and run driver. 

[00:01:24] Anna: You don’t have to look very far to learn about the type of young man Jackson was. He’s described by anyone who knew him as a fun loving, goofy kid who loved his friends and had a real zest for life. Amid this tragedy, the Yelle family has started the Jackson Yelle Foundation. Which is currently focusing on contributing to MLB and Nike’s RBI program, which stands for reviving baseball in inner cities. Scott is currently in the middle of completing a journey to all 30 ballparks and is donating money at each stop along the way in Jackson’s honor. 

[00:01:54] Anna: This is a super powerful and meaningful conversation that illustrates how one young man’s legacy has gone on to impact and benefit many people who never even met him. And how baseball can really bring us together. It’s obviously a very emotional episode and I am so grateful to scout for sharing his story. Now without further ado, sit back, relax and enjoy some baseball banter with Scott Yelle. 

[00:02:19] Anna: Scott, thank you so much for joining us today on the baseball bucket list. How are things up there in Massachusetts?

[00:02:25] Anna: It’s.

[00:02:26] Scott: Yeah, well, thanks for, thanks for having me. It’s great to be on the show and I love listening to it. So, you know, it’s, it’s sunny today, but it’s still a little brisk, although there’s, there’s a call for some warm up here in the, uh, Next few days, but yeah, spring is trying to get here.

[00:02:40] Anna: Yeah, it’s that time of year where it’s a little bipolar with the weather at least here in Texas, but You know, I imagine things are kind of similar up north there

[00:02:49] Scott: Yeah There’s a lot of baseball games going on with turtlenecks and long sleeves still so

[00:02:54] Anna: Yeah, but you know come June come July come August y’all will be very very thankful that that’s where you guys are playing so Yeah I know today’s discussion is a little different than kind of what we normally do here, but I’m still going to start it right out of the gate the way I always do with the question of how is it that you became a fan of the game of baseball?

[00:03:15] Scott: Yeah, I was thinking about that and I think One thought is you know, so when I was growing up in the 70s You didn’t have all the youth sports that you have today. And so really the first organized, um, team sport I could play was Little League at the age of 10. Right. And so I was, you know, obviously on the younger age of that group and, and I don’t forget it was, we were on the Mets.

[00:03:37] Scott: That was the team I was on. And, um, we won the championship that year because the way the 12 year old, it was just a stud pitcher who actually played in the minus a little while. yeah, and that was kind of my, my taste and foray into it. I was the, Slow kid that played second base and right field as a 10 year old.

[00:03:52] Scott: And I don’t know, I just, it just took off. That was like, again, like I said, the first organized sport and, um, just became a fan.

[00:03:59] Anna: So did you grow up in Massachusetts or is that where you were kind of born and raised?

[00:04:05] Scott: I did not. So I was born outside of Boston, but my father got a teaching job for the state university of New York, way out in Western New York, South of Rochester. So, uh, about seven or eight hours from where I live today.

[00:04:18] Anna: I got you. So it’s making more sense as to why you would be the Mets then, um, you know, as opposed to like the Red Sox as a little league team.

[00:04:26] Scott: Yeah, so I think there was a Red Sox team. I just wasn’t fortunate enough to be on it. So I think they just made up teams and you know, that was the team I got was the Mets. So for a long time, the Mets were my, my favorite National League team. If the Red Sox were, were not doing well. So

[00:04:41] Anna: Are you a fan of the Red Sox still? I mean, I would imagine with, with how close you are,

[00:04:46] Scott: yeah, I still, it’s my number one team die hard until the day I die. So then, you know, I don’t want to get into Jackson, but I made sure Jackson was a Red Sox too.

[00:04:57] Anna: Yeah. as you should I think. so we touched base on Twitter. I, I, I heard about your story and about the story of, of your family and Jackson and, um, I gotta imagine that, you know. With as much as you are doing right now to kind of spread the word and grow this beautiful family foundation that y’all have created that still a lot of listeners are not going to know the Yelle family story So, you know, would you mind kind of sharing a little bit of information about your son Jackson?

[00:05:31] Scott: Yeah. So it’s, um, It’s amazing with all the press that there’s still so many people out there that don’t know the story, but yeah, it’s, it’s, um, unfortunately it’s a tragedy and, and so about a year ago, actually it was April 30th of 2023. Um, our son Jackson was killed at the age of 21. Cause they were off celebrating the seniors.

[00:05:52] Scott: So every year he was part of the Elon. baseball team. Uh, every year they go somewhere to kind of celebrate the seniors. So it was about 50 of the club guys, um, social and playing members and then their dates. And unfortunately he was, he was struck by a hit and run driver and killed. So it part of the foundation and the journey of kind of how we connected on twitter is So one of the things he and I had started to do is had, we had this quest to try to visit all 30 major league ballparks together, and, um, it just kind of morphed.

[00:06:24] Scott: I think we had gone to a, you know, a few games, and then I, I probably said as we were going to some baseball doubleheader on a weekend when he was playing travel ball, hey, let’s, let’s see if we can get to all 30, right? It’s something we could just do until Yes. You know, we’re both old and it didn’t really matter the age and something we could just kind of do and he’s like, yeah, let’s go for it.

[00:06:42] Scott: So that was the that was the initial piece of the quest and then so obviously he died last last April and then in September we decided hey, let’s let’s try to focus on the positive. Let’s try to find a way to keep doing good things In Jackson’s honor and hence we started the Jackson Yelle Family Foundation last September.

[00:07:02] Scott: So

[00:07:04] Anna: Yeah I mean, this is obviously a super difficult story, and I can only imagine, you know, what you and your family have gone through and continue to go through, on a daily basis, I’m sure, really, but it’s so admirable, like you said, to try to take something so tragic and, you know, Make something good of it, you know to to find some sort of silver lining to to benefit other people and I mean, I’ve read some things about your son and just learning You know the type of human the type of individual he was it just sounds like salt of the earth and you know I’d I’d love if you could maybe talk a little bit more about who he was and and what made him so special You

[00:07:52] Scott: Yeah, um, was pretty happy go lucky, zest for life, and he loved his teammates. He tried to make sure he, um, included the little guy. Those people that sometimes hang out on the fringe, make sure they were included. And if you knew him, you know, he’d be here slapping me upside the head and say, Stop crying, Dad, right? So that’s, that’s kind of who he was. He wouldn’t want us to be, you know, upset for too long. He’d want us to keep moving forward and, you know, in his words, you know, live our best life. So that’s really kind of the goal we’re trying to do. Some days are easier than others.

[00:08:33] Anna: Yeah, 

[00:08:34] Scott: You’re poor listeners.

[00:08:35] Anna: ah, no, I mean, no, it’s uh, Uh, it’s such a hard story, but like I said, there’s so much good that you guys are making of it that it’s important to share that. And I know that that’s the reason that you started the foundation to begin with and, you know, have, have kind of continued this journey that, that you and he had started together about going to all 30 parks and you found a way to work some magic into it to, you know, kind of continue the tradition and not only make the most of your life, which is you said I’m sure Jackson would would just be thrilled to know about but to help other people along the way and so Can you talk about? Your journey to kind of complete the circuit of all 30 parks and what these teams are stepping up to to do for y’all

[00:09:28] Scott: Yeah, so I don’t, you know, I don’t, there’s a lot of, a lot of, a brain time when something like this happens. And so I don’t know where the, but I just started thinking about, Hey, we should, it’d be great to try to finish, you know, the 18 clubs that we didn’t get to. And, you know, and twofold try to say, Hey, you know, How can we give back to an organization that reflects who Jackson was?

[00:09:50] Scott: And then also, you know, bring awareness and try to raise some funds for our foundation so we can continue to do good work, you know, even after the tour ends. And so, um, I’m not just big believer. You tend to throw things out in the world and somehow things come back. And so I just started talking to folks that I knew in the baseball world, ex coaches and things like that. And, we’re family friends with it with a gentleman who used to work for ESPN, Trey Wingo. And, and, uh, you know, Trey said, Hey, you should really check out MLB. He’s got a Nike RBI program and RBI stands for reviving baseball in inner cities. So I went to their website and started reading about it and checking it out.

[00:10:28] Scott: I was like, wow, this is, there’s a lot of great stuff here. And then, um, you know, watched a video from Hunter Green, who’s a current Reds pitcher and who came up through the RBI program. Um, and that was really the clincher for me. Cause he just talked about obviously the program, the coaches, they all work to help the kids and it’s, it’s supports men and women cause it’s baseball and softball, but you know, it helps them obviously with the skills, but you know, You know, just help teach him, you know, public speaking and, and, uh, deal with adversity and be a good teammate.

[00:11:01] Scott: And, you know, all those skills that no matter whether they move, you know, a young person, you know, male, woman, female goes on and plays college softball, baseball skills. They’re just going to need the rest of their life. And, you know, to me, it just felt like, you know, the perfect fan. I, you know, so then I told my wife and daughter, I said, you guys got to check this out.

[00:11:21] Scott: And we agreed. It was, it was just a good. You know, reflection of who Jackson was and what baseball meant to him and really what baseball gave him, you know, from a, from a, you know, core skill set of who he was and it influenced his life, you know, as he went to college and, you know, grew into a man. And so, so the goal is, as I visit the remaining 18 stadiums, um, we donate a thousand dollars to each, you know, city’s Nike RBI program.

[00:11:48] Scott: so we started this journey back on March 31st and visited the 1st, you know, 8 of, uh, 18, you know, kind of here on the East Coast. I’ll take a, another short trip out to the West Coast, you know, starting May 12th and then wrap up in the Midwest between June 1st and Stadium number 30 will be, uh, Detroit on, um, June 9th.

[00:12:12] Anna: I appreciate so much about this because, you know, I grew up, I didn’t play baseball, I didn’t play softball, but I, I was a soccer player my entire life and, You look at the small percentage of kids who come up through club soccer up to high school, college, you know, whatever it may be. It’s such a small percentage that will actually make sports their livelihood.

[00:12:34] Anna: But the lessons and the character that develop over the course of your life that you’re, learning to play through adversity, you’re overcoming injuries, challenges, whatever. It’s, uh, it’s invaluable and it goes a long, long way. And I, I just, I hope that people will begin to appreciate more what youth sports can do to build that.

[00:13:00] Anna: Better adults down the line. And so the RBI program is very exemplary of that, you know, everything you just touched on and then It seems like it’s just a perfect fit for you guys.

[00:13:13] Scott: Yeah, and I agree 100%. You know, we obviously chose RBI program because of Jackson’s love of baseball, but I like you. I played three sports in high school and growing up, you know, and, and so I don’t, you know, if it’s a well run organization and you’ve got good coaches and then yeah, every, every kid’s youth sport can, can make a huge positive impact.

[00:13:33] Scott: Because again, so few go on even just to college to play, let alone some sort of profession, but. Yeah, they’re just, there’s life skills that you get taught when you have to work as part of a team and, um, or even an individual like a sport like golf or something. I mean, there’s just, there’s just, you know, learn how to compete, how to get better, how to set a goal and go for it.

[00:13:52] Scott: And there’s just so many things that just turn into a big part of being a successful human later on. So.

[00:13:59] Anna: Yeah, definitely It’s uh, you know as our lives get comfier and comfier less I guess like physically demanding for just You know, we’re, we’re pretty cushy nowadays. I think it’s a sports is a good way to kind of replicate some of that hard knocks learning that, uh, you know, a couple of generations ago, they, they didn’t have the luxury of, of opting out of.

[00:14:22] Anna: So, uh, I think it goes a long way. So in addition to the RBI program, you guys are also working directly with Elon, which is obviously the school Jackson was at. It’s in North Carolina. It’s a, I want to say small private school. The only reason I know of it is because I went to Campbell University, which is, yeah, not far.

[00:14:42] Anna: So, uh, we, we played them often in sports. And so, um, do you want to talk a little bit about Elon and, and kind of what you guys are doing there?

[00:14:52] Scott: Yeah, Elon’s about 45 minutes a little bit north of, uh, Raleigh, um, smaller division one, uh, school. And, and, um, yeah, it was Jackson’s happy place. It’s interesting. You know, he, you know, he found it. And I think the first time we went there, he’s like, I’m not smart enough to be here. And then when he got in and took a second tour, he was like, yeah, it was just, we, I remember walking across the, across the quad with him and, And he said, yep, this is, this is it, right.

[00:15:16] Scott: Classic child finds their, their place. And so, yeah, he joined the club team, which honestly, I was a little surprised that, I think, I think I learned about it for a couple of months. I don’t know why, but. you know, so that was the fall of covid. So it was kind of a tough year. There wasn’t a lot of a lot of baseball going on, but you know, you’re still part of the club.

[00:15:35] Scott: And then second, uh, three days into his sophomore year, he cut his thumb cooking chicken for the guys and cut a tendon and, you know, missed part of that season. So Yeah, they’re just a good bunch of guys. So you joined the club team, you know, there’s social and then, um, you know, playing memberships, that kind of thing.

[00:15:54] Scott: But yeah, and they, they’ve been great. Right. So they, obviously there was a large group of them with him, you know, down in Myrtle Beach where the accident actually happened and they really adopted us. Honestly, they’ve, they’ve, I joke and she, she. Some days she probably loves them, some days she doesn’t, but my daughter’s got 86 big brothers now and having one can sometimes be a bear, but now having 80 of them, so, um, but yeah, they’re just, that’s what I mean.

[00:16:22] Scott: So the, you know, Jackson had a really close relationship with his grandmother too, and they would, you know, text back and forth for Survivor on Wednesdays, and many times the Celtics were on, and The boys that pick that up and they do that, you know, in replacement of him and, you know, it’s just, that’s just who they are.

[00:16:38] Scott: And, um, so I get a lot of energy from being around them and whatever. And it’s a, they’re a great bunch and special and, I know they’ll go on to do great things. And so. But I remember because I just listened to one of your episodes a few weeks ago from from Ethan and about playing catch and It’s ironic is that I remember, you know when I started listening to it So Jackson was killed on a Sunday and we went to Elon for Monday and Tuesday and Tuesday the team dedicated And planted a tree In his honor and his memory by one of the lakes on campus.

[00:17:12] Scott: And so we were there and, you know, plants and plants in the tree. And I told the kids, I said, Hey, just give me, make sure everyone brings a glove and I’ll explain why when you get there. And so. One of the things I, you know, always loved until I, you know, until I couldn’t really keep up was just playing catch, right?

[00:17:29] Scott: And so when I was little and just playing, you know, catching the driveway as a, you know, three or four year old with a plastic ball or whatever. And then all the way up until obviously he was in high school and he could throw it much farther. Long toss got more difficult for me and easier for him. So, yeah, I just, I think it’s one of those things that’s therapeutic and, um, Yeah.

[00:17:50] Scott: So, yeah, I played catch with all the guys, you know, did two or three, you know, throws with with each of them and, you know, I gave him a hug and then moved on to the next guy. I made sure I stood uphill. So I was throwing downhill at least because the arm was a little rusty. It had been been a couple of years since I had thrown batting practice.

[00:18:08] Scott: But yeah, I was just it was a special moment for sure.

[00:18:11] Anna: Yeah, I can imagine so and um, I’m sure it was meaningful to all of them too, you know There’s just something about being active and obviously when you’re when you’re sad, you’re sad But being able to do something seems to be meaningful, you know, so I’m glad y’all were able to do that.

[00:18:32] Scott: Yeah, it was. It was a special, special time. Something I’ll cherish and maybe we’ll get to do it again someday. So,

[00:18:38] Anna: yeah, definitely What’s next for the for the foundation? What’s next for you guys? Like I mean, I know you’re you’re wrapping up this 30 ballpark journey and You know, you got some some things on the docket and lockstep with that, but you know What do you think will come after that?

[00:18:57] Scott: yeah, we’ve scheduled a fundraising golf event in the fall. Um, sure. It’ll be a heavy baseball theme and I’m pretty excited. We’ve got some, a nice mix of folks, you know, from adults and kids, you know, coming from, you know, people who knew Jackson, but, um, also, you know, family friends. So that’ll be fun. A little bit of a celebration.

[00:19:17] Scott: Um, try to do something fun. Jackson wasn’t much of a golfer, although, you know, he had played some, but, but, uh, so yeah, I should hopefully be at a time and some good laughs and again, try to raise some funds for the foundation so we can keep, keep trying to find, um, and do some good things to help, you know, our mission is all about trying to help give young men and women, you know, uh, opportunities to, to be successful and go out in the world and do great things.

[00:19:40] Scott: And so that’s, that’s the goal there. Yeah, I think we’ll, we’ll settle in and try to get into a rhythm of maybe one or two events a year. You know, um, it’d be hard to replace for me the baseball tour, you know, if we’re fortunate enough. I’d love to raise enough money to go back and pay a thousand dollars to the 12 clubs that Jackson and I actually went to.

[00:19:59] Scott: And so to round out that piece of it, but, uh, yeah, we’ll, we’ll see, we’ll see where things lie out, 

[00:20:05] Anna: Can you kind of explain the meaning behind the logo of the foundation? it looks to be maybe a dragonfly where the, the body of the, the dragonfly is a baseball bat. Is that right?

[00:20:17] Scott: yeah, so it is a dragonfly and the body is in the shape of a bat. Um, so again, the, the, that afternoon, you know, the kids that were in Myrtle Beach had the three and a half hour ride back to Elon. And, and, um, you know, I think as they settled in and the shock was still happening, it was a mix of, you know.

[00:20:36] Scott: teammates and then a mix of, you know, just people that knew Jackson. So I had repeated people come up to us and tell us about all of a sudden seeing dragonflies. And so if you Google it or whatever, and you’ll see that it’s kind of a, you know, a sign of afterlife, you know, especially the native American cultures and things, and so it just was, you know, kind of became the rally cry for, for us.

[00:20:59] Scott: And so people would, you know, every time I saw a dragonfly, I’ll get a text. It’s like, Hey, you know, Jackson was here and there was a thousand of them. I was at the, at the batting cage or, you know, I was thousand of them at the, you know, the driving range or, um, I was at a golf tournament last year and there’s this little field by one of the tee boxes and there must’ve been a couple of hundred of them.

[00:21:19] Scott: And, you know, it could be, uh, a logo at a restaurant or we went to South Africa last summer and, um, we walked into the hotel room and my mom, you know, Jackson’s grandmother, Her throw pillow was a dragonfly, right? And so it just keeps coming up. And so we went down to parents weekend in September and every year the baseball club guys put together a special t shirt for the weekend.

[00:21:42] Scott: And one of Jackson’s teammates created the design. So he’s, he created the dragonfly with the bat of the dragonfly in the shape of a body. And he was gracious enough to let us kind of take it on and become the logo of the foundation. And so, yeah, that’s, that’s the special meaning behind the logo.

[00:22:01] Anna: I love that. I figured there had to be a story there, so

[00:22:04] Scott: Yeah, it’s pretty cool.

[00:22:05] Anna: I’m glad we heard it. Oh man. All right. So

[00:22:10] Anna: just sticking with the regular format of the show, is there something That comes to mind when I ask you what your favorite baseball memory is.

[00:22:18] Scott: Yeah, a couple of things. Um, being a Red Sox fan, it was a long time to get it to win. I’ll never forget where I was in 2004. I was living in California at the time and, um, Lexi, my daughter, wasn’t even born yet, but I was sick as a dog, you know, um, that’s why I was home that day if it didn’t work. And one of the great things about the West Coast is the games start earlier.

[00:22:41] Scott: So I actually got to see the whole game and, you know, didn’t have to stay up till midnight, kind of a scenario. And yeah, I just, how pumped I was to, to, to see him win. And finally, after all those years, and I know there’s other folks that waited a lot longer than I had to, but. Yeah, it was such a magical moment.

[00:22:57] Scott: So that even though I couldn’t be at a game in person, that was pretty cool. You know, I think the other one was in 2013, uh, the Sox made the World Series again. So my wife bought me an early birthday present and let Jackson and I go. And so we got to go on a school night and say, we’re going to go, we’re not going to get home until, you know, we’re living in Connecticut time, probably midnight, one o’clock and you got to go to school the next day.

[00:23:19] Scott: That’s the only deal. As much as it may stink, you’re going to have to You know, tough it out. I guess I’m in. So yeah, we got to go to see game two of the World Series 2013 too. So that was pretty cool.

[00:23:30] Anna: Yeah. Those are great memories. I mean, there’s some of these franchises. they wait a long time, you know, obviously the Cubs being the one with the longest drought, but, um, I remember 2004 and I remember even 07, you know, people just baffled that it wasn’t another hundred years between

[00:23:50] Scott: Yeah. Yeah.

[00:23:50] Scott: for sure. 

[00:23:51] Anna: So, uh,

[00:23:52] Scott: But I remember like, you know, Jackson’s first game, he must’ve been five and we were living in California. So I made sure we took him to a Red Sox game. So the Red Sox were in town at the Coliseum playing the Athletics and you know, he fell asleep in the seventh inning and probably was sugared out and probably sunburned.

[00:24:08] Scott: I’m sure I got yelled at by mom when we got home and you know, it’s weird cause you know, Cell phones weren’t really big back then. I think my Blackberry and I’m sure it didn’t have a pitch, uh, camera. I mean, so that’s the only bummers. I don’t have a lot of pictures from those early trips. Just it wasn’t, you know, wasn’t something I guess I needed to document.

[00:24:27] Scott: But, uh, yeah, there’s a ton of them Jackson’s first home run and coming home with a sportsmanship award and yeah, a lot of, a lot of great baseball memories.

[00:24:36] Anna: Yeah, definitely.

[00:24:37] Scott: And here’s a funny fun tidbit. I just learned this the other day. I was googling I was trying to find a press a news piece that they had done in Philly a few nights ago, and I didn’t realize this but there was an Archie Yelle who actually played for the Detroit Tigers from 1917 to 1919 as a catcher, which you know, I was a catcher.

[00:24:59] Scott: So that was pretty ironic and then stop number 30 is Detroit So it’s like, what a small world. I just kind of stumbled upon this. And so there was a Yelle who actually played in the MLB at some point.

[00:25:10] Anna: That’s cool. That’s

[00:25:11] Scott: Yeah, really cool. I was totally shocked.

[00:25:13] Anna: Any way to see if there’s any sort of lineage, or, or

[00:25:17] Scott: there is yeah. Yeah, we’re related through a cousin. I checked it out. Yeah through ancestry Yeah, there’s there’s definitely relative there. So

[00:25:24] Anna: Very, there you go. So that’s where the uh, the athletic talent came from, it sounds

[00:25:28] Scott: yeah, I guess so

[00:25:31] Anna: What’s left to check off on the baseball bucket list? I mean, is, is there a thing that’s kind of at the top of the list as something that you would like to do, or see, or a person you’d like to meet? 

[00:25:41] Anna: Have 

[00:25:41] Scott: Yeah, you know, no one really jumps out as a person I mean, you know, everyone that I’ve met has been special and you know, there’s obviously Growing up, I was a Freddie Lynn fan, you know, sweet swing and Freddie Lynn, you know, not really sure why, because, you know, he was a center fielder and, um, other than being on the Red Sox, you know, in the seventies and then Jason just because I was a catcher and, and just, you know, Being a huge Red Sox fan and, uh, just being really, I think, uh, uh, a huge part of why the Red Sox won some World Series championships and how you manage the team.

[00:26:14] Scott: So probably meeting Jason would be pretty cool. yeah, you know, I, I know, I’ve been to World Series games. I’ve been, fortunate enough to see, um, three of them in my lifetime. I’m over three. So people probably don’t want me to come to their World Series games anymore. Um, but yeah, so, you know, I don’t know.

[00:26:33] Scott: I haven’t really thought about what else will be on the bucket list. I’m excited to finish the 30 stadiums and, you And then just play it out and see where things go.

[00:26:41] Anna: Have you thrown a first pitch at any of these parks?

[00:26:44] Scott: I had the honor in Miami to throw the honorary first pitch. I was, I got trumped by Bubba Watson who was in town for a golf tournament. But, uh, so yeah, I got to throw the Billy the Marlin, which was, it was amazing. Right. I mean, I just, and then I had no idea until I arrived. And so at first I was nervous. I was like, ah, this will be fine.

[00:27:03] Scott: Right. But yeah, that was, that was pretty special. And then in Cincinnati, they gave me the honor of delivering the first pitch to the mound, um, before the Reds took the field. So again, that was, that was pretty cool too. But honestly, for me, I could, I could sit every one of these guys is batting practice, you know, pregame.

[00:27:19] Scott: And just, it’s. I just, it’s fascinating to me just to watch and see how they’re just so flawless. I mean, their footwork is really good and just their every throw as they’re taking infield is right to the waist. And I think these guys are just, you know, squaring it up and, and, um, hitting every ball flush.

[00:27:37] Scott: And I’m sure they’re frustrated and working on something, but from the naked eye, somebody to stand behind the cage, you know, it’s, it’s just, I could, I don’t know, it’s mesmerizing. I can just do it every day.

[00:27:48] Anna: Yeah. I, I’ve been fortunate enough to be on the field for a handful of batting practices and it’s, uh, man, that sound, you know, it’s one thing to hear the ball hit the bat from just even a few rows back in the seats, but when you’re on the field and you’re, you’re just a few feet behind these guys, it’s a, it’s a sound that it’s, it’s gotta be one of the best sounds in the world.

[00:28:12] Anna: And every ball to me looks like it’s going out. It could, you know, land halfway between second base and center field and, uh, but, you know, from, from my perspective, it’s a 600 foot home run. So,

[00:28:25] Scott: Yeah, definitely. It’s it’s definitely has its unique sound the whole game, right? This is actually somebody mentioned this that joined us in Philly, you know a few nights ago It’s like wow, I hadn’t been to a baseball game in a while and you know, the smells and the sound I mean It’s people I think don’t realize it until They’ve been in a park Right.

[00:28:44] Scott: So it’s, it’s interesting to see an experience, but, um, yeah, I don’t know. It just never gets old, like walking into Philly. I mean, two hours, three hours before the game and there’s no one there. And you’re, you’re, you’re watching, you know, and here and everything, you know, the, the vendors are going, you got hot dogs and sausages and they got the music blaring because the guys are on the field and yeah, it’s just a totally energizing vibe.

[00:29:09] Scott: And, and, uh, it’s really cool.

[00:29:11] Anna: yeah, definitely, It’s a, it’s a happy place. It really is. And I think it’s, um, it’s just so neat to me that you were able to, like I said, you know, make something good out of, of something so tragic and sad. And, um, I, it’s really admirable. It really is. But, uh, to listen to the way you described your son, you know, and just realize that, you know, Your entire family’s gotta be that way.

[00:29:36] Anna: It’s, it’s not surprising to me to hear that you’re, uh, trying to, to do some good with this situation.

[00:29:45] Scott: Yeah, it’s it’s um, I get it But I gotta find the right word because healing isn’t the right word, you know, because when I think about healing I think about like I tore my Achilles and they sewed it up and I came back and do everything and I’m never going to be the same Scott Yelle that I was on April 29 2023 and That’s okay.

[00:30:03] Scott: I’m not saying the new Scott Yelle is better or worse or whatever But but yeah, there’s a real energy from from being in the ballpark. There’s a you know energy from you know, everyone’s support and You know, really a shout out to MLB because, you know, my simple ask was, hey, can you make some introductions for me?

[00:30:21] Scott: And I’m hoping we can arrange a photographer for my big fake check presentation and a ticket to the game. And, you know, as, as happens in baseball, and I mean, I think we take care of our own and. It’s really just morphed into so much else. I mean, MLB and Fanatics teamed in and made me custom shirts for every stadium.

[00:30:41] Scott: And, you know, within the number on the back is the tour stop, right? So, um, you know, to, you know, they’re working on some taping, some pieces that’ll come out after, after the end of the tour and, you know, they’re sending an MLB, you know, a photographer to every, you know, Coordinating with me. They’re always there.

[00:30:58] Scott: But, you know, just just the clubs themselves just going above and beyond and making the experience special. And yeah, I just it’s it’s overwhelming in a very positive way at times. I just I never I never expected it all quite honestly. And I feel blessed and very fortunate. So

[00:31:17] Anna: Yeah. Well, I think the community, like you said, takes care of its own and rallies around people they recognize are doing good things for the world. And, um, you know, that’s, that’s the most important part about all of this is that’s what you’re continuing to do in Jackson’s honor. And, 

[00:31:33] Anna: it’s just a really cool thing on the heels of, of something awful. So it’s, um, I don’t know. I’m obviously at a loss for words for what you’re doing, because it’s, it’s something that I don’t know that I, or a lot of people would have the strength to do.

[00:31:48] Scott: Yeah, you know, you asked me that a year ago, I probably would have said the same thing, but I think, you know, you, um, you rise to the occasion when, when needed and you find the strength or, you know, whatever it may be and, it’s, uh, thank you for the kind words. It’s, um, I don’t feel like an inspiration, you know, like I tell people I’ve told my therapist, you know, don’t these guys know I’m just trying to survive every day.

[00:32:11] Scott: Right. And, um, and, uh, it’s, uh, it’s, it’s a cool side benefit for sure.

[00:32:17] Anna: Well, where do we send people if they want to find out more about the Jackson Yelle Foundation, about you, if they want to follow along with this journey as you, you know, finish up the 30 ballparks and kind of just keep an eye on things and maybe learn how to help out some.

[00:32:32] Scott: Yeah, a couple different ways. I mean, you can go to our website, which is www. jacksonyelle. com. You can donate there if you’d like. There’s a donate button if you want to support the cause. There’s also a place to subscribe. So after every game, I try to write a short blog. And then usually after every leg of the trip, I’ll do kind of a recap and just kind of what I’m calling the tales of the trail, so to speak, just kind of some of the unique people and unique experiences.

[00:33:00] Scott: But you can also, every game, I try to Just try to give my perspective, right? So I try to share, you know, what it looks like to be on the field or from my seats. And so you can go to honoring, you know, dot, uh, Jackson, yell on Instagram and follow along. That’s where I post all the videos and, and, uh, yeah, it’s, it’s, um, you know, it’s been great to meet people.

[00:33:20] Scott: So I’ve met some other stadium chasers as well, and, you know, various cities and, and, uh, yeah, it’s, it’s been pretty cool.

[00:33:28] Anna: Well, Scott, I can’t thank you enough for for making time to do this and share your story I’ve so enjoyed our time together and I’ve really appreciated learning more about Jackson and the remarkable young man he was and, you know, I think he would be pretty proud to see this kind of legacy built around his, his life because, you know, as you mentioned before, his life motto, you know, live your best life or this is the life and you know, like, um, I know it’s, it’s something that I’m gonna kind of keep near and dear to me as, as I.

[00:34:01] Anna: Continue moving forward on a day to day basis. Just remembering that positive message and, um, I, I thank you for sharing it.

[00:34:08] Scott: Yeah, no, thanks for having us. It’s uh, I love your podcast and I wish I had just found it sooner So i’m glad we stumbled upon each other through the social media world of twitter and And, um, yeah, you got a great show. And yeah, you know, it’s, this is the life. It was pretty funny because they were on the beach taking photos and he was putting his arm around guys and just saying, Hey, isn’t this the life, right.

[00:34:30] Scott: And, you know, to be a young college kid and away and having a good time and spending time with their friends. You know, it just makes you realize, you know, we always say it and we kind of know it, but you know, life is precious, right? And just, it’s just try to live your best life and do the things that are going to try to bring some happiness and um, mix them in with the things we got to do, which is called work and all that other fun stuff.

[00:34:52] Scott: And yeah, just, just live for the moment. So.

[00:34:56] Anna: Well, Scott, thank you so much for, for joining us. And I look forward to, to keeping my eye on you guys as, as you wrap up the journey and see what you get into next.

[00:35:06] Scott: Awesome. Thank you. Yeah, again, thanks for having me on. I appreciate it very much.

[00:35:09] And that will wrap up this episode of the baseball bucket list podcast. Special, thanks to Scott Yelle for joining us today and sharing those stories and memories. If this sounds like something you’d like to do, if you think you might like to be a guest on the show, head to baseball bucket list.com/podcast and fill out an application. I’d absolutely love to hear from you. 

[00:35:27] While you’re there, make sure to spend some time on the site, sign up for a free membership, build your own baseball bucket list and track your ballpark visits. If you find yourself enjoying the show each week, please take a moment to rate and review it in the podcast app of your choice. It goes such a long way in helping us find new listeners. And I would really, really appreciate it.

[00:35:45] That’s all for this week. Thanks so much for listening. We’ll see you next episode. 

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