I recently received a phone call from the stadium manager Ray Irizarry of Richmond County Stadium. This is the home of the Staten Island FERRYHAWKS of the Atlantic independent baseball league.
He told me that his wife Sara who is a teacher at P.S. 65 was looking for the right keynote speaker and she felt that I was that person.
Ray said that the combination of me being from the streets of the Bronx and Brooklyn and my long background with the Yankees that I might have a very powerful message to give this graduating class.
Naturally, I was excited to do this because it always gives me a chance to live up to my promise to the greatest owner in sports history, George Steinbrenner that I would give our kids a positive message.
I was received very warmly by Principal Sophe Scamarella. Her energy is so strong that I can understand why she is so loved by students and teachers alike.
By the time I got up to the podium to speak, I was already in love with the kids.
I basically addressed my speech to the parents. I begged them to please understand that at this stage in life our children are innocent souls who must always be kept on the right path. Also how important it is for us to never forget the importance of the most powerful word in the world… Love.
During my speech, I asked my standard question to the kids. What is the most important word in the world? Like clockwork, a student raised his hand and said … Love.
I rewarded him with a Major League Baseball that said … Love is the Key to Life. That moment received the loudest ovation.
These moments when I can deliver the right message to our children are always my favorite times in my life.
I wish these kids and their parents, God’s blessing always.
Special thanks to Yankees President Randy Levine and the Yankee organization for always sharing your LOVE! I’m sure you know what you mean to them.