This has been one of the most confusing weeks of my life.
On the one hand, I had my dear friend Doc Gooden get picked up by the police for the second time in two months for drug possession, etc.
The demons of drugs have been killing this man for years.
The disease has become overwhelming and it seems like he is just giving in to it.
On the other hand, I have another friend by the name of Dan Colon who is suffering from A. L. S. ( Lou Gehrig Disease). Dan is 52 years old.
Until two years ago he was still playing baseball in an adult league.
One day he was getting dressed and he realized that he couldn’t button his shirt. He went to many doctors to find out that he has this horrible disease technically called Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. I was introduced to Dan by a sports writer who knew that I was doing my play "Batboy" in order to help different charities.
He asked me if I could help Dan because he was having problems dealing with his expenses to pay rent and medical costs.
I've gotten to know Dan and have fallen in love with a man who truly loves and understands the beauty of life. He takes nothing for granted, and he is not afraid to share his story with others — to help them.
The day that Doc Gooden was arrested for the second time, the first person to call me was Dan Colon. He wanted to know if there was anything that he could do.
My initial plan for my play "Batboy" on August 1st at Hostos Community College in the Bronx was to split the profits between the Thurman Munson Foundation and A. L. S. to help Dan with his immediate problem.
The Thurman Munson Foundation was set up one year after the passing of our great Yankee Captain Thurman Munson by his incredible wife Diana.
The foundation has been active for 39 years, helping children suffering from different mental health afflictions.
When I told Diana about Dan Colon the first thing out of her mouth was, "Ray what would Thurman Munson do?" I said, "He would probably help Dan." So, we have decided that in the name of Thurman Munson we are going to donate all the money from the show to Dan Colon to try to help him deal with his battle with ( Lou Gehrig Disease).
When I first met Dan the first thing out of his mouth was how much he loved the Yankees and how Thurman Munson was his heart.
I guess you can say that Dan had me at hello.
I guess you can also say that tonight and every night I pray for Doc Gooden, someone who happens to be one of the sweetest people I have ever known. I just hope that he can get it together before it’s to late.
On the 40th anniversary since my sweet, chubby, yet powerful pal Thurman had left us, we will celebrate his life through our play "Batboy."
Some of his teammates will be there including Bucky Dent and Mickey Rivers along with David Cone and present day Yankee, Gio Ursula and many others.
When I told Dan Colon about Diana Munson’s kind gesture, Dan cried and said, “But she doesn’t even know me.”
I had to explain to him that Diana is just like Thurman. They’re Yankees this is what they do!
Get you tickets for "Batboy" at Hostoscenter.org. The show is Thursday Aug 1st 7pm
Tickets are $30 for a great cause!
Ray Negron is a sports executive with over 40 years of experience in baseball. His first job came from a chance encounter with George Steinbrenner as a youth. He has become an American film producer, a best-selling author, and a philanthropist. His memoir is entitled, "Yankee Miracles: Life with the Boss and the Bronx Bombers." For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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