During this pandemic I am glad that baseball is back and Yankee fans can watch their fabled and beloved Bronx Bombers every night.
It does bother me when watching the games that the seats are empty. As the Yankees Community Consultant, during a normal season, I would have had kids on the field before games and many underprivileged kids, that never would have had a chance to ever go to a game, would have had their dreams come true.
It's very painful to me because I was once one of those kids. It strikes home.
Right now, I'm visiting the different boroughs and trying to help people during this difficult time. I have been to the hospitals, fire and police stations dealing with food drop-offs, also schools where we give out food. We go to shelters housing mothers and children in all difficult situations.
There is one particular shelter near Yankee Stadium where there are so many kids. My friend and psychologist Steve Vaccaro and I go there on Thursdays. The kids have become big time Yankee fans.
One of my responsibilities is to read the different children's books that I have written to them. Since the books are so "Yankeecentrick," the kids have become familiar with our players. The two most popular players are Gio Urshela and Gleyber Torres. I know that a big reason for that is because of the cool and unusual first names.
Last week, Gio had a great week so the kids were very excited when I got there. When I walked into the conference room they started chanting "GIO, GIO. GIO." It was very cool.
Every couple of days I try to give a couple of players that I have a good rapport with some info on the kids and how they are doing. Gio and Gleyber have taken a very beautiful interest in the kids since they have gotten here and they have sent the kids videos with encouraging words.
Last week Gio hit his fourth home run and then sent the kids a video to let them know that the homer was for them. It was a beautiful gesture because it made the kids feel good about themselves. We even had a little boy who was going to have surgery and again because of the pandemic. Gio couldn't visit, but he did the next best thing: FaceTime, baby.
The little boy was so happy, I think Gio was happier.
If anyone thinks that the Yankees have forgotten about the Bronx, and more importantly the children of the Bronx or the city, nothing could be further from the truth. Do yourself a favor and check out my Instagram (raynegronyanks) Facebook or Twitter to see for yourself.
Thanks Gio and all of the New York Yankees for not forgetting our people. especially our children at this difficult time.
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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