ja brawl. >> this month a net impact, the best of 2009. tough man on the ice. alex the great ovenchin. and why fame and fortune has not changed him. and paying tribute to a man that taught everybody about the game. >> and then a dream comes true for one high school baseball player, a story that will warm
your heart holiday season. >> hello and welcome to this special edition of net impact. i'm art fa nel. this is the best of 2009 report where we look back at some of the stories that touched most and kept us talking. like the first report that we called a father's tribute when we went under the lights on the biggest stage in major league baseball where yankee catcher jose molina could not help but reflect on the death of his father. this year was particularly emotional for all of the brothers. we begin the coverage of a truly remarkable story. >> they are the quintessential baseball family, the molinas, ben gypping, jose and yadar, a
rare feat three brothers playing ints. the backbone is gone. ben molina santana passed away at at the age of 58. >> it is like somebody take your heart and threw it in the trash. >> his passing was stunning between games of a youth double-header. games played on the feel where he built them from scratch. >> he had high blood pressure and he wasn't taking his pills and he was going to the fields andmaing it. all of it got his blood pressure off and that's when he had the heart attack. >> the funeral within the community where he lived. >> it was a major thing seeing 3 or 4000 people in two or three days showing respect, the most
respect that they have for my dad. you have to be there to know how the kids were crying. i'm talking about nine, ten years old. >> my dad was a great man. he tried to help the little kids and got a bunch of teams. >> he died doing what he loved. he built that field literally. to die there was a special moment for him. >> a special moment as a special place, the ball feel which is such a community landmark and it's street builds the architect's name, it was on that field that a father taught his three kids had to play the game and how to live life through the game. >> he teach us about be a good player every day and try to be better every day we became a man through baseball. he wasn't only baseball, he was the others things first like during the school, doing your homework and don't do drugs and
don't do this. and then you play baseball. that's the way he taught us. >> among the invaluable life lessons, the importance of sacrifice. little known fact, ben molina had the chance to personally blaze his son's trail to the big leagues about the time benji was born the hitter in the amateur league was offered to try out with the briars and his decision to raise his family at home might be the reasons his sons make their living behind home. >> he is a very strong guy. he had a lot of respect. he worked from five a.m. to 3:30 every single day for that m years. to tell you the truth, i never heard him complain once. i never heard that man complain one time of taking us to the field. >> he always had a smile and he was always there for you and his
heart just -- the way my dad was, the tissue, everything, gave you everything he had for his family. >> now, as we approach the one year anniversary of his passing, the mo lipa brothers celebrate his father. they look at the letter he put in his casket. >> it will be a tough time without him and that i love him very much. >> benji channels his father's spirit by putting pens of words in a poem. >> thank you for loving me more now than ever, you are who i am today, you make me in soul, now it is my turn to love you, rest in piece. i love you. >> of course the season had a
bitter sweet ending for jose, the yanks would go on to win the world series and with that win jose picked up his second world series ring, he received the first one along with his brother ben gypping with the and gers, his brother yad dar won a ring with the cardinals in 2006. of course the entire baseball community in the city of brotherly love was saddened this year with the passing of one of the game's great announcer, hall of famer harry callus. he was one of those class acts that for so many of us made the moments on the field magical. derrick gunn reports on the voice we lost. >> this afternoon at a little past 1:00 p.m., harry callus passed away at the age of 73, a day that will live in imfa knee
in philadelphia. >> this ball is out of here!. the philadelphia phillies are 2008 world champions of baseball! >> a voice so distinct and recognizable emma knitting from a man that ca necked with fans throughout his career that took him from hawaii to houston to philadelphia. >> harry always had time to sign an you to graph, he always had time to take a picture with a fan. fans could would come up and hand him his cell phone and ask if he would record his outgoing message. >> you have reached kathy and kevin and they are not in writing now. >> it is out of here! >> it is a voice that provided the sound track for nfl films for 34 years. >> whatever we asked for harry delivered and he did it on the spot, he would would hand him
the script and we expected perfection and got it. >> we got the ball back in 57 seconds, a chance for both teams. >> upon the news of his passing, fans in philadelphia create add make-shift memorial outside of citizen's park with candles pile out. the phillies flag flew at half-staff. >> i literally grew up only listening and knowing the voice of harry callus for the phillies. >> the thing about it is that he probably passed up in the booth the way -- being in the place that he would have loved. >> thankfully we have his voice to throw back in the vcr and listen to, he will be missed. he was a great person. >> less than a week later thousands took part in a public meme for harry inside of citizens' bank park family and friends came out to pay their
final respect to the philadelphia icon. for all of us i believe i can look up and say harry, thank you for entering all of our lives and making them better and our prayers are that god's love and grace will you with you and your family forever. [applause] >> sanedoff so grand it had only been done on the baseball diamond two other times. for babe ruth and for legendarychart broadcaster jack carr. >> i'm a phillies fan that is feeling a tremendous loss today. i got to know harry when he first started broadcasting phillies game in 1971 and i was a 9-year-old fan tuning in. that is when i met the voice. >> the phillies organization is honoring his memory with patches on the uniforms over their
hearts. a broadcast booth is now named in callus' honor ant 7th season stretch featuring a song that allows harry's voice and personality to take over. >> when you are done, look around. he had high hopes. >> so while the city of philadelphia and its baseball team and football fans across america may have lost the voice, they will never forget it and as the tribute continues on, the impact of harry callus, the broadcaster and the person will never subside. >> in a world away, two nfl players on a humanitarian mission literally save a little girl's life. >> i couldn't believe what was happening. >> you will hear the inspiring l
of their lives. >> one story inspired all of us to do better. what started out as a humanitarian mission to africa for two nfl play earths from the chicago bears ended up in a life saving mission. from sports net chicago, here is dan higgins with the story we called gridiron guardian. >> i think god has put people in the right time and place for things like this situation like this. we didn't pass the buck. >> two defensive line men and two teammates united in a goal to establish nfl supremacy. away from football there's another purpose that unites them. in a place a world away from soldier feel. >> during the off season the two bears were joined by teammate tommy harris on a special trip to nigeria for willie and who
say born in to royalty, the africa journey was a home coming. >> this trip was two fold, we wanted for have a football camp where we were teaching nfl style football to youth and have a mel clinic where we were servicing world cities in -- outside of laos and the capital of nie jarya and it worked out well. >> they don't care about the football side. it is more like our sons are back. they are back from the united states and their long extended visit and they are back home and we get that kind of love and it is hard to explain, like a love that a mother has for their son and the whole country has it for us. >> our every day life, it doesn't matter who we are and where you are from and what you v you can all do little things to impact somebody's life. >> through football, wally and
izzi can make an impact on countless fans but during the trip, there was one child who made a huge impact on them. a 4-year-old lady named shakier asman. her smile and behind that was a sick girl in desperate need of health. she was born with a life threatening defect, a whole in her heart. as words spread about her condition an organization called the heart gift foundation was is able help but there was a page snag. airfare to the united states was not part of the funding. >> i was like it can't be happen tog this girl. so full of life, even when i wrote a letter, i said she is full a life. i started talking to people and fortunately, i met this
councilwoman who happens to be wally's aunt. she said my nephew who plays football in america is in town and he will step in and want to do something for you. >> wally's aunt came up to me and told me about the child and the situation and spoke with the mother and it was just when you look ate, it is a no-brainer, beautiful young girl and just needs the operation to get on the right track. >> both wally and izzi pulled their resources for the flight that saved her life. they made the trip to austin, texas, the home of the heart gift foundation where saving children's lives is the people they are in. on april 13th, surgery was performed to correct her heart.
>> i was grateful. i couldn't believe what was happening. is this a dream? is this reality? >> shagoom is healthy and vie want the girl now with the help of everybody involved including two men with big hearts who saved the heart of one. >> we are the ones that received the blessings to touch this young girl's life and try to make a difference, to be a part of something so positive. they were the ones that walked away feeling like wow, it gives us a perspective on life. >> a fresh perspective on life also applies to my report on herb luck a forming runningback with the philadelphia eagles that now run force god. i traveled with pastor luck to africa where he runs a humanitarian mission called stand for africa and it stand
for food and clean drinking water for africa's people. the former 32 on the field has now been back to africa four times doing what he calls god's work. >> you know it is not just the professional athletes that are teaching us about teamwork and core and and in spa ration, all you have to do is take a look at this story that involves a baseball player and a team that changed what the word winning means. mindy report reported on a champion's heart. >> spring, a time for new beginnings, a familiar warmth of the sun on your back as many discover the love for the outdoors. in carmel california, a town with roots as deep at giant redwoods, one day the spring was different than the rest.
meet women rudolph, team manager for the carmel high school baseball team. >> very positive, polite and cracks funny jokes. >> kind of makes his own path in life. he has done it with a certain amount of creativity. >> he is a good catch. he listens and he is a teenager and he is a great kid. he loves life. >> will rudolph has a taxya, a mild form of sa rebbal palssy. a limitation with debilitating results potentially. over the years chores have become tougher, he has managed to stay focused on one of his true loves, baseball. >> made a do donation to
children's make-a-wish foundation. >> my illnesses not terminal. but getting in a ballgame will be true. >> my junior and senior year, i watched games. >> nothing could have prepared will for what was in store. the bottom of the 6th inning of carmel's final game of the season and will's dream was about to become reality. >> from the second i heard the coach say number 30 for 14, my eyes welded up and i started to cry and i was like his dream was coming true. >> i haven't been on the field in an actual baseball field in the game since i was like 8. i was pretty happy then. the coach was cool enough to put me in the game. >> will was just pinch running at 3rd base. >> i said you are not going to
run. >> the crowd was going crazy chanting his name. >> with cameron was in position a father was ready to catch a special moment for his son. >> my perception of what i should be doing ant angle i should have on the shot and how do i capture it the first time on the field. >> what happened next was something all in attendance will never forget. >> before the play actually i thought about it, they hit the ball to me and what was i going to do and it came to me and i cannot -- i actually paused for a second while i was running to 1st base and i was praying that he would throw me out instead of
will. >> running. thought they had an easy play. >> i tooked a look from 3rd base and i pointed at first. >> i was going to throw it from home but i don't know, something in my heart told me that was not the right thing to do. >> that warm moment of mutual respect and sportsman ship create add memory that will last a lifetime. >> truely, i didn't stop crying until pretty late that evening. because i saw him get lifted up and it was just a dream come true for my child. >> while the run was one of many in carmel's easy's run no
scoreboard could measure the impact it had on a young man with a dream. >> it's such a small thing that he wanted. after everything he has gone through to make it happen. it was the most wonderful moment i have had. >> both the coach to know my physical limitations and still put me in, that is amazing. >> to realize that t t t t t t
miles per hour. stay right this because net impact is coming right back. >> welcome back to the best of net impact 2009. >> you may remember our report on washington capital's alex ovenchin a player loaded with family and forks he has major endorsements and commercials and his own clothing line and that's just for starters. earlier we asked the hockey superstar if he is overwhelmed by all of his success. >> in washington it is a pretty cool thing. you go in a shop or you buy some stuff and shopping and people just say hey alex, good game last night, critical game. it is very fun. >> one more interesting thing, this tough guy on the ice actually admit that had he cries at movies. well, actually, so do i.
go figure. finally, let's have some fun, some fast fun, some of the best work happened this year when our reporters got right in the middle of the action in this case, speeding through the turn at 120 miles per hour at the famous dover international speedway for chris miller it was time to start your engine to see if he could survive the notorious monster mile. >> chris miller and don knee knew birring here's dover international stairway, year two of the monster mile experience, got the fan experience and i'm going behind the wheel, time to go drive. ten laps of fun, let's get it done. >> it's official, here is my pit pass and my name on it. if anything happens, put it in my meme mores. >> are now a semiprofessional race car driver. and maybe by the end of the day it will make you professional. >> it's that time. got to go put on my uniform and when i come back i will be a full fledged driver, i hope.
>> hey, buddy. thank you very much. >> make no mistake, if anything happens to me, you have to explain it to my wife. >> me and your wife have it worked out. >> is that why the insurance papers are out this morning? >> i'm moving right in. >> all right. here we go. more laps. my man don new berger. >> that was a tip, for us doing 120 miles per hour going into that first turn, you feel it.
>> it will be all right. it will be all right. >> we are ready. i am ready. all of the teachings that don gave me for the past year-and-a-half i get to a my it and go around the monster mile, they don't call it that for a reason. that's it. let's go race. [ revving ] >> donnie, how did i do? >> what do you think hot rod. >> that was awesome. >> you look good. >> turns all right. >> not bad, for a rookie you did a great job. >> the hat man, call the hat man. >> all right. >> this is one of the toughest tracks, called the monster mile for a reason and it is a track you have to drive, you did all
honey... the credit fairy... doesn't exist. what? it's make-believe. nobody left anything under your pillow. if there's no credit fairy then who will make our credit score go up? we will. by doing things like paying our bills on time. announcer: there's no magic to improving your credit. but there's help and it's free. go to creditfairy.org what?
good call. in 1977, in johannesburg, south africa, an 8-year-old boy picked up the game of golf from his father. by the age of 9, he was already outplaying him. the odds of this gentle lad winning the junior world golf championships at the age of 14? 1 in 16 million. the odds of that same boy then making it to the u.s. and european pro-golf tours? 1 in 7 million. the odds of the "big easy" winning the open championship once and the u.s. open championship twice? 1 in 780 million. the odds of this professional golfer having a child diagnosed with autism? 1 in 150. ernie els encourages you to learn the signs of autism at autismspeaks.org. early diagnosis can make a lifetime of difference.