When your as blessed as me, having worked for the New York Yankees for over 44 years, you get to meet a lot of famous people. Some great, some not so great. Some nice, some not as nice. People from the world of Stage, screen, television, sports and politics. I come from such humble beginnings so I find it a true privilege to meet many of these individuals who have accomplished so much.
Since the time I started with the Yankees at the age of seventeen, I was into the TV shows like the Brady Bunch, Happy Days and of course the Partridge Family. My long time pal, Aris developed his first “man crush” to Keith Partridge, who’s real life name was David Cassidy. When the Yankees went to the 1977 and 1978 World Series to play the Dodgers, myself and the other bat boys met a lot of the kid actors in Hollywood. (One of the Batboys actually got to go on a date with Joanie from Happy Days.) I remember Greg from the Brady Bunch being very cool and even though he was rooting for the Dodgers, he was very excited about meeting Mr October, Reggie Jackson.
One experience that I will never forget was when David Cassidy came to one of the games and created a nightmare for security at Dodger Stadium because he had purchased his own ticket and they didn’t know that he was coming. At this time, he was actually as big as Elvis. We got to meet him by the clubhouse area because his dad, the actor Jack Cassidy, had been friends with Billy Martin. David could not have been more cool—just a nice kid who actually liked baseball. Even though I would never see him again, I never forgot that wonderful experience in LA.
The last few years, I had heard that he had some issues with drug and alcohol abuse and I wished that I would have tried to reach out to possibly help him since I have the arsenal of friends that I do in the field-but unfortunately I didn’t. Like me, he recently lost his mom to dementia. Like me, he lost his best friend and went through the true pain of losing your mother and knowing that you will never see her again. Two days ago, a neighbor of his told me that he had been very ill and his organs were shutting down and yesterday I heard that David Cassidy had died at the age of sixty seven. For me, I feel that it is much to soon to lose anybody, let alone David Cassidy. I write this piece to say thank you to a person that helped make my childhood a little bit better. With the passing of time we naturally loose a lot of people in the sports and entertainment world and we take a lot of them for granted. Even though they make a lot of money and are adored by millions, that wealth sometimes comes with a price and a lot of times they just don’t know what that price is.
That day in 1977 I asked him who was he rooting for and he said,” I lived in New York as a kid, who do you think?!”