I recently labeled Oswaldo Cabrera, "The Wizard of 'Os'".
The reason being that there is nothing that this kid just can’t do.
You ask him to play short stop, he does it.
You ask him to play anywhere in the outfield and he does it.
He has even played first and third base and says that he is willing to pitch and catch.
This writer must add that last season he even made one of the top 10 defensive plays in baseball while playing the outfield.
One of the greatest Yankees ever to engage in community service was the wonderful Gio Urshela. There was nothing that Gio wouldn’t do for the kids of the Bronx.
For the three years that he was a Yankee, he never said no when It came to helping the kids. When Gio got traded it was a sad day for a lot of Bronx kids.
They felt like they lost that personal connection with the Yankees that Gio brought to them.
Then one day Oswaldo volunteered to visit a school in one of the toughest areas of the Bronx and a new love affair started.
Oswaldo visited the children and showed them that giant smile of his, spoke to them in both English and Spanish and he knew just the right things to say.
Over the years I have made this kind of visit with players named Thurman Munson, Bobby Murcer, Jackson, Lou Piniella, Derek Jeter, Gleyber Torres — and of course Gio.
This writer can honestly say that Oswaldo has left a beautiful impression with these children. Especially when after a visit he hit a grand slam that same night.
The kids took that performance on the field that night as a personal gift.
His picture hangs alongside those players that I have mentioned and a day doesn’t pass that the principal, Louis Torres from CS 55, doesn’t call or text me to schedule another visit with Oswaldo.
This weekend, the YES Network held their annual spring training gala for their sponsors.
It was a beautiful event enjoyed by everyone present.
The food was delicious, and the camaraderie was great because it gave the "suits" from YES a chance to give their customers a personal experience with the Yankees Universe.
A wonderful touch was the fact that all present enjoyed a great question and answer session hosted by Meredith Merokovich and Michael Kay.
The three guest stars were David Cone, Willie Randolph and the guy that was truly the big hit of the night . . . Oswaldo Cabrera!
Cone and Randolph were just terrific.
Their storytelling was right on.
With those two guys, what you see is what you get.
However, everyone fell in love with Oswaldo. He reminded me of Desi Arnaz from "I Love Lucy."
He was extremely charming and funny and just so humble and proud to be a Yankee.
As I looked around the room and saw the faces of all the people including John J Filipelli, president of Production for the YES Network, and Jon Litner the CEO, I could tell that this kid had won their hearts.
I guess that’s why from this moment on this kid has earned the nickname… "The Wizard of 'Os'".
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. Mr. Negron is an American film producer, a best-selling author, and philanthropist. His memoir is entitled, "Yankee Miracles: Life with the Boss and the Bronx Bombers." Read Ray Negron's Reports — More Here.
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