You have just agreed to a multi-million dollar contract with baseball’s most elite team, the New York Yankees. You would think there would be a big celebration. But in the case of Dellin Betances, his way of celebrating is by hanging out with the poorest kids of the Dominican Republic.
On Saturday and Sunday, Dellin was seen along with Yankee catcher Gary Sanchez and former Yankee Starlin Castro and their longtime mentor, Nelson Cruz, hitting the kids ground balls, fly balls and in Dellin’s case, pitching batting practice. If you know Dellin Betances, then you know that he has never forgotten where he came from. If he was in New York, he would be at a batting cage working with kids in the Bronx.
Nelson Cruz, whose parents are educators, is considered in baseball circles as a true humanitarian. I had the great fortune of honoring him at the United Nations several years ago for his work in Venezuela. He flew in powdered milk when Venezuela lacked milk for its young.
When you ask Dellin about why he cares so much, he provides the example about the way that Nelson and others have been and the fact that this is part of being a Yankee.
Starlin Castro was not a Yankee for long, but he understood that being philanthropic came with wearing the pinstripes.
Dellin is excited about the upcoming baseball season and is grateful that the organization has put its trust in him and treated him with the type of respect that he has earned.