Hank’s Yanks at Ferry Point: Another successful day for the kids

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Hank’s Yanks At Ferry Point Golf

By Rich Mancuso/Sports Editor


There was New York Yankees co-chairman Hank Steinbrenner gazing at the scenic vista of the Whitestone Bridge and a golf course in the Bronx known as Trump Links at Ferry Point Bronx. His Yankees team was a few miles away and nearby kids were getting autographs from outfielder Carlos Beltran who is having a first half MVP season as an early Comeback Player of the Year candidate.




Former NY Yankees centerfielder, Mickey Rivers.

Former NY Yankees center fielder, Mickey Rivers.

It was  a day of golf for the second annual Hank’s Yanks charity that raised over $60,00 dollars for special needs children and for three teams of 75 players that was started by Ray Negron, an assistant to Steinbrenner. CC Sabathia the pitcher, who is also on a similar comeback trail, joined Steinbrenner and Beltran, along with some former and current Yankees, including David Cone, Mickey Rivers, Bucky Dent and Gene “Stick” Michael.

Steinbrenner, who has not been very visible at Yankee Stadium, resembles his late dad, George, who was always significant when it came to helping young people and communities in the Bronx.

“Ray Negron started it years ago with one team,” said Steinbrenner about ‘Hank’s Yanks’ which has seen over a dozen of its players get drafted to play pro ball. “It was for kids in the area with different age groups for little leagues to present them in an opportunity especially in areas that don’t have a lot of little league action. It helped develop players, but mostly for fun.”

You could determine this was a day for the kids, all for a good cause. And Steinbrenner did his “meet and greet” with the kids and boosters who enjoyed a round of golf with present and former Yankees.

“Eventually when they get older, obviously they are not all going to play major league baseball, but it’s to help with college and give advice on colleges,” he said. “We have kids that we helped get into college and we have had players drafted.  It’s just for the kids, real youngster or high school age. It gives them an outlet to be associated with the Yankees. It was Ray’s idea to be associated with the youth. ”

And then, Steinbrenner gave his opinions about the current state of his Yankees team. There is a struggle in the Bronx and he seriously said he loves the Bronx, “And I may have to come to the Bronx more often if we don’t start to win, he said with a grin.

Ray Negron, Hank Steinbrenner, Rich Mancuso

Tony Melendez (TM Baseball Academy/Bronx), Hank Steinbrenner and Rich Mancuso. Photo credit: Bronx Chronicle

His late father, always gave a commanding presence in the Bronx. At charity events, and at the ballpark, it was always that look of concern and gestures of, we better get it right, or else….Meaning a manager or coach would be on the firing line, or a significant roster move had to be made.

This Steinbrenner has a different approach. Quieter, and more open to answering questions. And yes, he reiterated that his love for the Bronx.

“I need to get up here and do more in the Bronx,” he said.  “My dad always taught me that America is the Land of Milk and Honey but unfortunately it isn’t that way for everybody. We got to try and do and make it that way. That was a term he always used . We have to start and get it going.”

He was being political for a moment but wants to help the kids of the Bronx and New York City. And then it was back to the Yankees, his team, the season how good Carlos Beltran is playing and what a team leader he is in the clubhouse.

“We are going to keep building the minor leagues. Next year we will have more money to play with.”  The losing is bothersome to Steinbrenner.

Said Steinbrenner about the lack of wins, “It constantly bothers us. Wish we could do more like it used to be but revenue sharing is killing us. We didn’t have that in the 90’s. Next year we will have more money to spend.“

He mentioned how important pitching was for the minor league system. The Yankees say they have a few prospects almost ready to make the jump to the Bronx. Righthander Luis Severino has been showcased since the end of last season and recently went back down to Scranton to correct some flaws with his command and secondary pitches.

“Cause pitching  is everything,” Steinbrenner said. “Problem is when you pay a lot of money for a free agent pitcher there’s the injury risk. You get a lot more money for the pitcher obviously than the position player. Teams want pitching the most and they will pay for it. But the problem is you take that big risk. The more you can develop obviously your own pitchers in the minors, the better.”

Steinbrenner added the Yankees have committed to drafting more pitching over the next ten years. “Sometimes they work out, sometimes they don’t” he said. There were no hints of shakeups and it is well known that the Yankees have to go to war the remainder of the season with the roster as constructed.

Buyers or sellers by the trading deadline in late July? Steinbrenner gave no hint. Fans know what happens depends on where the Yankees stand in the American League East–at the trade deadline.  

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