WASHINGTON, DC—For a baseball fan like Jacob Landis, opening week of the season is always a big deal. But this year will be extra-special, as the 24-year-old pizza baker from Annapolis, MD, will be part of the action.
Starting tomorrow, April 3, at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., Landis will set off on a nearly 6-month, 10,000-mile bicycle odyssey that will take him to all 30 major league ballparks. Why is he doing this? To raise $1 million so that others, like him, can afford help with their hearing loss.
At age 10, Jacob experienced what he terms the “miracle” of a cochlear implant, which was performed at Johns Hopkins Hospital in 1999. The goal of his physically demanding mission is help people pay for cochlear implants or hearing aids so that they too can enjoy the benefits of hearing.
His cross-country tour, named Jacob’s Ride, will head from Washington to Camden Yards in Baltimore, the home of Landis’ favorite team, for the Orioles game on April 6. From there Landis will head north along the Atlantic coast to Philadelphia, New York and Boston, and then west via Toronto and Pittsburgh toward Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago, Milwaukee, and the Twin Cities.
He will take the a northern route west to Seattle, then ride south along the Pacific Coast to San Diego. From there he’ll turn left and head back east through Phoenix and Denver, and then follow a southern route via Dallas and Houston back to the East Coast. He is scheduled to wind up in Miami on September 24, day 175 of his journey.
MANY EVENTS ALONG THE WAY
Baseball teams in most of the cities on his itinerary are expected to formally welcome and recognize Landis, who will be accompanied at each game by as many as 150 local supporters and fellow cyclists. He also will throw out the first pitch at some games along the route.
Fundraising events are planned along the route, and many sponsors and supporters will be donating to his cause. Among them are the Children’s Hearing Institute in New York, Advanced Bionics, the Cochlear Implant Awareness Foundation, the Hearing Loss Association of America, Johns Hopkins Medicine Department of Otolaryngology, Mayo Clinic, the Gift of Hearing Foundation, and Whole Foods.
In recognition of his efforts, Landis was named a “goodwill ambassador” for the City of Annapolis.
Donations to Jacobs Ride can be made through his web site.
, his Facebook page, and through text message and mobile phone announcements at all the stadiums he visits.
All proceeds will benefit the Gift of Hearing Foundation in Narragansett, RI; The Listening Center in the Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore; the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN; and the J.W. Pickle Foundation in Nashville.