Ray Negron's Playball Weekly Blog

Like Minaya and Presbott, Corona can build his legacy too!

For many years the NY Yankees had a fabled, almost mystical figure scouting in the Bronx looking for the diamonds in the rough.

That person/ scout was named Ceaser Presbott. I have to tell you that for close to forty years Presbott did find those hidden gems, including Johnny Rodriguez, who Presbott signed to the Yanks and ended up being traded to the St. Luis Cardinals and was a hero for the Cards in a World Series.

Ceaser was also a hero in the community for many years. He started his own foundation and every year he would give hundreds of turkeys to the poor during Thanksgiving and Christmas.

After Ceasar retired from scouting he was replaced by Brooklyn boy Danny Corona. From the beginning Corona has understood that he has had big shoes to fill. He also understands that a Yankee area scout is more than just a person looking a baseball player, he also has to be a good will ambassador. Sometimes he has to be a therapist who has to explain to a dad & mom why his son didn’t get into a certain college or he has to be a hitting or pitching coach to a kid who may not have any athletic skills at all. One thing for sure, as a Hispanic man myself, I know that Danny had better know how to listen when that little Latin mom  is trying to tell him why her son is the next Aaron Judge!

Yesterday was the 20th annual little league opening day for the International baseball league which is ran by their commissioner Gabriel Balcacer.

Gabriel is a very popular latin journalist and broadcaster who has been covering the Yanks for years. I must add that as much as he loves his job and the Yankees, he loves mentoring the Bronx children more. He truly understands that what he does with his little league could be the gateway to these kids having a good life.

Every year at this time he calls me for assistance on his opening day. This year was no different. He asked me for a special guest that could throw out the first pitch and give the kids a speech. I immediately thought of baseballs first Latin General Manager and new Yanks executive and arguably future hall of Famer, Omar Minaya. Naturally Gabriel got excited right away, however when I checked with Omar he was in the Dominican Republic on assignment.

At that point I thought of Corona and the fact that he was already building his own legacy.

I have noticed that he has been working so hard and taking his responsibility as a Yanks scout extremely serious.

I mentioned this to Gabriel and he got excited at the prospect of having him there.

When I called Corona he immediately said yes.

At the event there was a sea of children. You could also see the excitement on their faces as they sported their new uniforms.

The thing I love about these Bronx Kids that makes them different from kids of the other boroughs is how eager they are to learn from prospective mentors.

When Danny Corona was introduced he immediately spoke of the Yankee way and the importance of parents. He was a seasoned pro … So I was surprised when he told me that he was nervous because he had never given a speech like that before or addressed such a large gathering.

As far as I am concerned, as someone who has been doing this with kids for almost 50 years I can honestly say that Corona did a tremendous job and considering that he was pinch hitting for the legendary Omar Minaya and replacing a scouting icon in Ceasar Presbott… I think you did a wonderful job kid, the Yankees are lucky to have you !

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