Ray Negron's Playball Weekly Blog

Muhammad Ali, Roberto Clemente Humanitarian Awards… Nelson Cruz just a nice guy!

If you ask me what a complete Major League Baseball player is , I would have to open up the baseball digest and see a picture of Nelson Cruz. The reason I say that is because this is a guy who’s done some incredible things on the field. He hits homers, hits for average and naturally drives in runs. He is a designated hitter however if you ask him, he would prefer to play the field and was no slouch when put in the outfield.

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Like Munson, Murcer and Jeter, Gio is a Hero

My love for the Yankees goes as deep as my love for my Hispanic heritage. The fact that I started working for the Yankees 48 years ago and I was surrounded by Yankee heroes named Thurman Munson and Bobby Murcer and Graig Nettles and Roy White and being lead by Billy Martin made me understand what true pride was all about.

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As a Yankee, Clemente made me proud.

As a Yankee batboy, I was dreaming of the day that I would possibly be drafted by the team I was working for, the Yankees. Everyday I would get to the clubhouse very early so that I would complete my chores before batting practice started. I would have all the towels folded, all the underwear’s in each players locker, the equipment in the dugout and I would be ready for Thurman Munson’s hamburger run to McDonald’s.

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Life is a documentary

The life we live is a true documentary. We all have a book in us and I honestly believe that …

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Rudy always inspired by Yank

It’s been thirty years since I saw the movie Rudy. I remember the tears flowing down my cheeks as the main character, Rudy would never give up. His dream of being a walk on at the Notre Dame football program even though the world told him that it was impossible. Doesn’t that remind you of all of us. How many times in your life has someone said to you that you can’t. Or you won’t or your not good enough.

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Gio salutes Thurman Munson

Today is August 2nd. This is exactly 42 years since the Yankees lost our beloved Thurman Munson. Those who were 5 years of age and older have never forgotten this incredible human being. I always have said that he was the Thurman Munson Experience! Those that didn’t know him felt like they did.

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From Stanley to Nettles, Gio has become his own man.

When the Yankees first got Gio Urshela from the Toronto BLUEJAYS for 25 thousand dollars, they thought they were getting …

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Gio Urshela All Stars visit stadium

The Gio Urshela all stars got to visit Yankee Stadium for the first time as a team. The kids come from the Bronx and extend all the way to Connecticut. Once at the stadium I get to take the kids around the ball park and I explain how everything works. They got to visit monument park and learn about all the greats there. They learn about the history of the retired uniform numbers then they get to visit the Yankees museum. While there I love talking to them about the story of Thurman Munson’s locker.

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On Hope Week, Yanks do what they do!

The Yankees may not be playing like we are accustomed to seeing them play at the moment however they never forget Thier responsibilities to Thier fans off the field. Yes the number one priority is to win but ever since George Steinbrenner purchased the team in 1973 he always found it important to do the right thing for the people of New York.

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An In the Height’s Message, The Steinbrenner way

This is graduation week in New York. This is always one of my favorite time of year because I usually get invited to different schools throughout the city to deliver important messages to the students that are graduating. Yesterday I got to be the key note speaker at The College Academy ( formerly George Washington high school) in Washington Hight’s. The reason I was invited there was because the school is predominantly Hispanic with kids from Dominican, Puertorican and many other Latino backgrounds.

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The Death of the Mambo king and a Bronx Legend

I have known of Tony Melendez since the 1970s. He was a terrific baseball player in the neighborhood with aspirations of playing in the big leagues. He was an even better disco and salsa and mambo dancer. To me he was the Mambo King before the making of the great movie The Mambo Kings which stared Armand Assante and Antonio Banderas.

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MLB, Yankees Remember Lou Gehrig On June 2 In Special Ways

There are few people, let alone players, who have embodied the Yankee mystique than Lou Gehrig did. “The Iron Horse” embodied professionalism, integrity, and grit, always putting the team before everything, even as a cruel disease robbed him of everything he worked for at such a young age. From his youth in Manhattan, through his days at Columbia University through all those great Yankees teams and even into that last iconic speech, Lou was, and still is, “The Pride of The Yankees.”

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