Ray Negron's Playball Weekly Blog

The Magnitude of Volpe …It happens every spring

The beauty of Baseball is that every spring there is always that new player that’s supposed to be the next Mickey Mantle. This spring is no exception with the case of rookie phenom Anthony Volpe who many are comparing to Derek Jeter.

Volpe always admired Jeter growing up but because of the influence of his Grandpa Anthony always idolized Mickey Mantle. All through school he always wore uniform number seven. This spring he has worn uniform number seventy-seven to in his own way honor the Mick.

When people ask about the Jeter comparisons he smiles and is flattered by the comparisons but prefers to be his own man. Volpe is as hard a worker as I have ever seen in my 50 years around the Yanks & overall baseball universe.

At one point this winter he left his home in New Jersey at 7 am to go to a workout facility in upstate New York and then show up at a public school in the Bronx to address the children in an area that is considered one of the poorest areas in the U. S.

Even though he is so young he likes to talk to kids about believing in themselves and always doing the best that they can in everything that they do. He emphasizes the importance of the role that parents have and the role his parents have had in his development.

He has developed a wonderful following with the young kids in the Tampa area this winter and also during spring training and understands the role model that he has become.

I love the fact that because of his Grandpa and father Michael, he is thoroughly educated on the true history of the Yankees.

He understands the magnitude of what Thurman Munson and Lou Gehrig and of course Babe Ruth and Joe Dimaggio mean to the Yankee brand.

I have had some beautiful conversations with Anthony about Yankee history and his enthusiasm about the Yanks of yesteryear and it is heartwarming. He understands that he has some big shoes to fill in order to become a great Yankee but loves the challenge and would not want it any other way.

You can see Anthony Volpe addressing the kids of a Bronx school on my Instagram account…. (Raynegronyanks)

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