In July of 1979, the captain of the New York Yankees, Thurman Munson, was sitting in the dugout, his mind in deep thought. A young, nice looking black kid, the Batboy walked into the dugout then decided to give Thurman his privacy so he started to walk away. Thurman noticed this and asked the boy to come sit next to him. “Are you enjoying your time here with the Yankees?” Thurman asked. “I really am Mr Munson.” the Batboy replied. Thurman said to the boy, ” When your time with the Yankees is over, use this experience to help others.” One month later, The Captain of the Yankees would die in an airplane crash. Almost forty years later, Errol Toulon, that Batboy, would make history…
Today was the inauguration of the 67th Sheriff in the history of Suffolk County. Today also marked the first time that an African American was voted into that position. The governor of New York state, Andrew Cuomo said, “It took a person like Errol Toulon to be able to break down those barriers.” Governor Cuomo also said that the people of Suffolk county understood the fact that Sheriff Toulon was truly someone special and someone that was willing to give his heart and soul in order to do all of the right things for the people of Suffolk County. Errol Toulon is someone that is not going to be afraid to challenge the MS 13 and other gangs that have been terrorizing parts of Long Island.
When Errol Toulon walked up to the podium today, one of the first things out of his mouth was the following, “I’ve come a long way from being a batboy for the New York Yankees and having a catch with Reggie Jackson.” The auditorium erupted with cheers which made me feel extremely proud because I know that this is something that would have made George Steinbrenner even prouder.
To be sitting next to my son Jon-Erik, who is a police officer, a union delegate and also helped with the election process, made me understand how important the Sheriff is and how important it is to have the right man in this position.
I later had the opportunity to talk to both Governor Cuomo and Errol Toulon Sr. who said to me how great that Errol’s career started as a batboy for George Steinbrenner and the New York Yankees, they said that it really was the foundation for the things that he (Errol) accomplished later in life. It was great to see the Toulon family who have done such incredible things in law enforcement throughout the years and have literally helped to make New York a safer place. Governor Cuomo said that one of the things that he and Errol have in common was the fact that they were able to follow in the footsteps of the incredible work that both their father’s had done. (Errol Sr. was a giant in corrections and of course Mario Cuomo was the Governor of New York)
When I went up to Mr. Toulon Sr. to see if he remembered me from the Yankee days, the first thing he said was, “I remember you and appreciate the things that you do.” To say that I felt extremely humbled would be an understatement.
I worry about my son, Jon-Erik every day when he is working. I also know that he has two other brothers that are getting ready to join the Suffolk police force and I worry for them also however, it is comforting to know that their leader, Errol Toulon, is there to guide them and all the people of Suffolk County.
In closing, as I have said in other stories, I am always proud of all the batboys throughout Yankee history who have grown up to become great citizens. The Yankee organization should always feel very proud.