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OPINION

'Batboy' Film Tells Ray Negron's Rise in Yankees Organization

poster for the movie with billy martin and george steinbrenner featured
(Courtesy Ray Negron)

Ray Negron By Thursday, 13 October 2022 11:36 AM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

The following article has been authored by Jake Wieland and provided by Ray Negron, for use by Newsmax.

Batboy: Tragedy and Triumph, The Ray Negron Story created with the vision of producer and Professor of Communication William G. O’Connell coming in June 2023, held a special premiere on September 22 at The Quaker Cinema as part of the Tuscarawas Valley Film Festival.

Batboy pulled a record-breaking attendance and was the single most successful one-night event in The Quaker Cinema’s history. The movie evoked emotions of tears and laughter from the audience, which ranged in age from 10 to 90 years old, and provoked deep conversations for weeks after the screening.

Batboy was shown in the heart of Cleveland Guardians (Indians) territory and on the same night as an annual rivalry game in Cleveland, Ohio, in another popular sport which uses an irregular shaped brown ball instead of a perfectly round ball with red strings.

Batboy was the kick-off movie for the 2022 Tuscarawas Valley Film Festival, which is in its fifth year and has established a trend of donating all proceeds each year to a local charity. This is the third consecutive year that 100% of the film festival’s revenue has been donated to the Big Brothers/Big Sisters Chapter of East Central Ohio.

Ray Negron’s deep relationship with Thurman Munson, the late Yankee great and Canton, Ohio, native, was prevalent throughout the movie and added to the audience’s appeal. Appearances by and stories from former Yankees, including Reggie Jackson and Dwight Gooden, accompanied by Negron’s sensational story telling of Yankee events on and off the field, captivated the audience throughout the entire film.

Ray’s unlikely meeting with George Steinbrenner in June 1973 and the relationship which ensued, forever changed the path of Ray’s life in a positive way. His strong messages of love and the importance of positive role models and mentors firmly gripped the attention of both nonsports fans and baseball lovers alike.

The words inspirational, unbelievable, magnificent, heart-touching, fabulous and amazing have been used to describe Batboy, the stories, the people, and William G. O’Connell’s production.

O'Connell said:

"When Ray tells his story in my college classes, it literally serves as a powerful and inspiring message to countless students who relate to his journey. It gives my students and every kid in the world hope about the very thing in the world they are starving for: mentors who can help change their lives. This isn't just a story. It is a call to action for a better world during what are critical times in this country."

After the premiere, the owner of The Quaker and lifelong Yankees fan, Mike Ernest, informed me the Batboy premiere coincided with the 25th anniversary date of his buying The Quaker Cinema and was one of the top-five highlights of his 25-year history.

“Co-hosting this event with my childhood friend, Jake, about the team we loved as kids made this a very special night at The Quaker and one of the most memorable nights of my career,” Ernest said.

The Ray Negron Story provides a revealing, behind the scenes view of what it means to be a true Yankee. It shows a humanitarian and caring side of Major League Baseball and of professional sports which many have not taken the time to think about or consider may even exist.

In the words of the Honorable Judge Edward O’Farrell “All of society could benefit by knowing Ray’s story and from seeing Batboy. In the face of adversity, Ray seized an opportunity.”

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." Read Ray Negron's Reports — More Here.

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RayNegron
Ray’s unlikely meeting with George Steinbrenner in June 1973 and the relationship which ensued, forever changed the path of Ray’s life in a positive way.
ray negron, yankees
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2022-36-13
Thursday, 13 October 2022 11:36 AM
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