Ray Negron's Playball Weekly Blog

Bader, A Bronx boy with the heart of a true Yankee… Thanks!

As you have probably heard, Harrison Bader was picked up off waivers by the Cincinnati Reds. Today I say thank you to Harrison For all he did as
a Yankee in a very short time.

Yes, he was our best player in last year’s playoffs. Defensively he is the very best I have seen in centerfield since 8 time gold glover Paul Blair backed up Mickey Rivers in the 70s. Ironically Blair would also go on to the Reds after his stint with the Yanks.

However, the thing that impressed me the most about this terrific youngster was his incredible desire to help thy fellow man.

This true native of the Bronx never forgot where he came from. He never forgot that he was one of those kids with a dream. He never forgot how blessed he was. He never forgot his less fortunate Latin and black friends and the times when he would eat rice and beans with plantains in between games of those Sunday doubleheaders in the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens.

When he was a Cardinal he visited schools and hospitals on a regular basis and when he became a Yankee he continued his routine of helping kids in youth baseball to encourage them.

This year during his time on the disabled list he actually came into the city to sponsor a little girl with brain cancer so that she would have enough money to go to Seattle for special treatment.

During his last time on the disabled list, he contacted me and said… Hey after my workouts I’m more than willing to help you with the people that need help.

That was truly a first because in all my years only two other guys did that and their names were Munson and Murcer. Gio Urshela was wonderful during his time in the Bronx so when he was traded I was devastated, Then we got Bader and he was also great. Unfortunately, he too is now gone and I will pray that we will have another Yankee with a great heart who is willing to reach out to these impressionable kids who always need a role model like Harrison Bader.

This November the Cristian Rivera Foundation will honor Harrison for his humanitarian efforts. The award will be presented to him by another great humanitarian who won the award last year, the great actor and another true Bronx boy Chazz Palminteri…

I guess it’s just Another Bronx Tale!

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