(Photo: Batboy, Bert Padell and Yogi Berra)
In life you must do something that you love.
That was the motto that Bert Padell lived by.
Who was Bert Padell?
He was known as the accountant to the stars. You’re asking me– why I would care about an accountant? Well besides the fact that he represented Madonna, Jay Zee, Robert Deniro and so many others, he was also a philanthropist.
The thing that I loved the most about Bert Padell was the fact that his first job in life was that of a New York Yankee Batboy. After reading many of my stories you know how sensitive I am about Yankee Batboys.
Just recently, I wrote a story about Sheriff Errol Toulon and another about Luis Castillo and his work with kids in the Bronx. There are so many success stories about former batboys. The foundation that the Yankees gave all of these kids date back to the days of Babe Ruth and his personal bat boy Ray Kelly, who would grow up to become very successful in life. The same can be said about Bert Padell. I first met Bert back in 1981 when he was the accountant for Yankee outfielder, Lou Piniella.
Naturally, he loved the fact that I was a member of the “batboy fraternity” so we had a lot to talk about and a lot of comparing notes. The one argument we had that day was the fact that when he was a bat boy he had Joe DiMaggio and Yogi Berra and I had Reggie Jackson and Thurman Munson. We laughed a lot about that one because there was no way that I was going to let him tell me that his two guys were better than Reggie and Munson. I gave him a good argument and because of that he said that I should have been a lawyer.
Bert always told me that with all of his success, being a Yankee Batboy was always the greatest job he ever had. That is the one true thing that we agreed on.
Bert never forgot where he came from and for many years he would visit many hospitals with some of his celebrity clients and bring the sick kids presents that he bought himself.
Bert always inspired me that way. It’s sometime that has always been a part of the Yankee tradition dating back to the days of the Babe.
Bert Padell was so popular with his clients that one of them (112 & Biggie Smalls) actually included him in the lyrics to one of his very big rap hits, “Only You”
Bert Padell died at the age of 87. He will be missed by so many people. Black and white, rich and poor. Bert was a nice man that always had time for myself and everyone else when we needed it.
It was never about business, it was always about the thing we loved the most–The Yankees and of course being a Yankee Batboy.
Rest in peace Bert. You lived a good life and you helped a lot of people.
Today I am also saddened by the passing of my priest and big time Yankee fan, Father Richard Gorman. The last time we spoke he was excited about making a trip to visit the Yankee spring training camp and get a first glimpse at the 2018 New York Yankees with our dear friend and chairman of The Cristian Rivera Foundation, John Rivera. I also lost my cousin Hector (Luisito) Perez to this crazy flu virus that is all over this country. If you haven’t gotten your flu shot, get it now.