Ray Negron's Playball Weekly Blog

Rudy always inspired by Yank

It’s been thirty years since I saw the movie Rudy. I remember the tears flowing down my cheeks as the main character, Rudy would never give up. His dream of being a walk on at the Notre Dame football program even though the world told him that it was impossible.

Doesn’t that remind you of all of us. How many times in your life has someone said to you that you can’t. Or you won’t or your not good enough.

That film has inspired millions because it’s about the common man with the incredible will to take it to the next level.

When Rudy Ruettiger asked me to come on his show last week I was extremely flattered and excited because like so many of us, I have been Rudy my whole life.

As a teen aged baseball player I was told by some very jealous kids that I could never be drafted by a Major League Baseball organization. Well I worked so damn hard day and night to the point that my workouts became an addiction. There were no excuses. If it rained I put on a raincoat and used rubberized baseballs. If the field was underwater we went on the basketball court or the street or played stick ball with baseball bats. Oh during the year before the draft, no girls… well almost no girls !
Finally the draft came in 1975 and to the surprise and amazement to many, I was drafted in the second round by the Pittsburgh Pirates. The incredible work payed off. As much as I wanted to be a Major League Baseball player , just the fact that I got to wear the same professional uniform as Roberto  Clemente full filled my dream. I must add that it would not of happened had I not been a Yankee batboy and learned so much about the game from Yankee players Thurman Munson, Lou Piniella, Walt Williams, Gene Michael and Graig Nettles. I do have to admit that when George Stienbrenner told me during the 1974 season that I should keep working hard and maybe someday I could be the Yanks shortstop, that really made me work that much harder.

That’s why I am forever grateful to the 1974 Yankees. They were known as the Band on the run Yankees because we had to play at Shea stadium while Yankee Stadium was being renovated. That team shocked the baseball world and truly overachieved to the point that we lost the division title on the next to last day of the season.

I want to thank Rudy and his beautiful film and the wonderful person that I have gotten to know.

I hope that Rudy Ruettiger understands that for years he has only been doing gods work. I must add in a very inspiring way , again I thank you for sharing.

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!