Ray Negron's Playball Weekly Blog

Happy Birthday Frankie Valli, Our Honorary Yank Batboy

Today I honor the great Frankie Valli. Today is his 88th birthday. Today and everyday I honor this man because he has one of the greatest hearts that I have ever known. One day I went to Madison Square Garden, saw the greatness of this incredible entertainer in front of over 20,000 fans, and said I need to meet him. After the show, I went to security and said, “I’m Ray Negron, the Yankee Batboy and I’m here to see Frankie Valli.” The security guard laughed and said “wait right here.” He came back and said “Mr. Valli will see you now.” I was taken to his dressing room and Frankie was already in his jeans and T-shirt, eating a plate of pasta. He put his fork down, walked over to me, shook my hand, and said “how you doing kid?” I couldn’t believe that a man of his magnitude was actually taking the time to greet me this way. I was actually there with another batboy by the name of Hector Pagan, who was also another Valli fan. Frankie told us that he was a big Joe DiMaggio fan and had actually got an autograph baseball from the “yankee clipper” that he has till this day. From that day on, I have struck one of the great relationships with a man who I consider like an uncle. He has been nothing but marvelous to all of my family and friends for over 30 years. He even introduced me to his musical director, Robbie Robinson, who has been nothing short of being a big brother. When Frankie was on Broadway, I bought tickets to the show. I can see that he was annoyed at me, so I asked “what’s wrong Frankie?” He asked, “why did you pay for tickets?” I said “in baseball during a big series, there are never any tickets left over.” Frankie replied, “whenever you’re coming to my shows, you don’t pay.” I was truly flattered by this but I’m still careful of not being a pain when it comes to these things. I don’t take our relationship for granted in any way because of the incredible respect that I have for this man. Frankie Valli once had a dream, and the one thing that he has taught me is that if you work hard enough, dreams can come true. I won’t ever forget that when my mom died, Frankie and the Four Seasons family came together, huddled in a circle, and prayed for my mom. They then took her picture and put it on Robbie Robinson’s Hammond organ before the show. I am forever grateful of the nice talks and incredible lessons that I have learned from this incredible human being by the name of Frankie Valli.

Hey! Are you enjoying NYCTastemakers? Make sure to join our mailing list for NYCTM and never miss the chance to read all of our articles!