Hank’s Yanks Golf Outing: Cause To Benefit Kids

By Lenny Ortiz

Hank Steinbrenner. Credit: Lenny Ortiz

Hank Steinbrenner. Credit: Lenny Ortiz

Some of the biggest names in New York sports came out for a great cause on Monday afternoon in support of the Hank’s Yanks Baseball Foundation at Trump Links Ferry Point.

The foundation which originated in 2010 provides talented young ball players between the ages on 12 and 18 the opportunity to join a summer travel team like no other.

“Most of this athletes come from rough neighborhoods where it is easy to get involved with the wrong crowd” said Yankees Senior Advisor and Hank’s Yanks manager Ray Negron, who singled out Freeport, Long Island, a town devastated by youth gang violence. “So to get them off the street and involved with the game of baseball is a great thing.”

The organization provides the team with great experiences such as the chance to meet Yankee legends, get instruction from former and sometimes current players and coaches, as well as travel to various tournaments. Their goal is to create young men that will do all the right things on the field, but most importantly all the right things off the field as well providing valuable mentorship.

Members of Hank’s Yanks of various ages were present at the golf outing which celebrated the 1977 World Champion team, the first under the ownership of the Steinbrenner family.

Hank Steinbrenner, founder of Hank’s Yanks, was extremely grateful for the turn out and support that his foundation received Monday afternoon. “I’m really grateful for the support of everyone that has come out and for the job that Ray [Negron] has done all year round.” said Steinbrenner.

With more support coming in every year, not only in this specific foundation, but in other Yankee charity based organizations such as the Yankee Foundation Hal spoke on the expanding assistance being provided by the Yankees. “

It’s not about PR, it’s about what’s right. We do it because it’s important and that’s the bottom line.”

A response that truly emulates the giving heart of his father George, who as Rey Negron pointed out once said, “If more than two people find out about this [his charity endeavours] then it’s being done for the wrong reason.”

The links were filled with the 1977 world championship team such as Roy White, Mickey Rivers, Jeff Nelson, Cecil Fielder, Pat Kelly and Jim Leyritz. Former Knicks point guard John Starks also joined award recipients “Mr. October”  Reggie Jackson and Yankees  pitcher Tyler Clippard

Roy White, two-time World Champion (77,78) and Yankees outfielder for 15 years, is a familiar face at Yankee events such as the golf outing.

“It’s always a pleasure to come out and support Hank’s Yanks. I think it’s great for these kids to have the opportunity to play game of baseball’ said White who hails from Compton, California  and understands the struggle some of these kids go through and the importance of baseball.

“It [baseball] was great for me growing up in Compton, where there was a lot of gangs. Some of my friends went down that bad road that are not alive right now and baseball kept me out of that mix, so it was great for me.” White continued.

After the celebrities hit the links, Ray Negron took the podium for a few words recognizing some of the vital people that help make Hank’s Yanks possible including Yankee owner Hank Steinbrenner and Tony and Jesse Melendez, assistant founders of the first ever Hank’s Yanks team based out of the Bronx and owners of TM Baseball Training Academy.

After much deserved praise was given, more recognition was to come as a few awards were handed out to some deserving men for their efforts throughout the community including long time New York sportswriter Wallace Matthews.

After a wonderful award ceremony that covered some fantastic stories and even a few pictures from the 1977 season, courtesy of Ray Negron, it was time for the silent auction. The auction contained an abundance of Yankees  that included signed balls and jerseys from players such as Aroldis Chapman, Tino Martinez, Mike Mussina, Didi Gregorious, Alex Rodriguez and plenty more.

In addition to the memorabilia were fantastic vacation getaway experiences such as trips to St. Thomas, Spring Training in Tampa, Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas and Belieze among others.

Hank’s Yanks is looking forward to yet another successful season in winning both on and off of the field.

COMMENTS: Ortilj13@oneonta.edu  Lenny Ortiz is an intern with the Bronx Chrinie and student of journalism at SUNY Oneonta

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