Big League Stew

'Little Big League' again: Twins let 14-year-old with heart condition be honorary manager

Mike Oz
Big League Stew

In the movie "Little Big League," a 12-year-old named Billy Heywood inherits the Minnesota Twins when his grandfather dies. He eventually hires himself as manager.

The film turned 20 years old earlier this month and while the Twins could have beckoned Luke Edwards, the actor who portrayed Heywood, back to Minnesota to throw out a first pitch and shake some hands, the team actually did something else to commemorate the anniversary of the film — something with a bit more heart. They gave another youngster the chance to "manage" the Twins.

Ryan Lueschen, a 14-year-old Twins fan, was born with a rare heart condition that required him to have four heart surgeries before he was in kindergarten. Because of a recent complication, he was in the hospital again, having surgery to install a pacemaker.

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(Special to Yahoo Sports)

(Special to Yahoo Sports)

That's when the Ronald McDonald House in Minneapolis worked with the Twins to let Lueschen be the team's honorary manager for a day on Sunday. It was a sort-of remake of "Little Big League" that also saw Edwards putting on a Billy Heywood jersey again.

Lueschen was outfitted in Twins gear, talked about the lineup with real manager Ron Gardenhire, met the players and went to home plate to exchange lineup cards. 

The Twins won the game 4-3 over the Cleveland Indians, re-establishing Billy Heywood's status as a Minnesota legend, but more importantly making Lueschen 1-0 as an MLB manager.

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Mike Oz is an editor for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at mikeozstew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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