Posts Tagged ‘Derek Jeter’

The batboy, the Boss and the colorful team that filled the House that Ruth Built: Ray Negron and Sally Cook tell of ‘Yankee Miracles’

August 24, 2013

By Matthew E. Milliken
Aug. 24, 2013

At 3:35 p.m. on June 29, 1973, on what should have been the last day of class for Queens student Ray Negron, the high school junior began to vandalize Yankee Stadium. Just as he did, a navy-blue town car containing two Yankees officials pulled up. Negron stood there, paralyzed with fear, as his companions fled from men they thought were undercover cops cracking down on graffiti.

Years before, Negron, a Yankees fanatic, had been able to scrimmage illicitly on the stadium’s hallowed field, thanks to sympathetic members of the ballpark cleaning crew. He thought he knew the historic ballpark at River Avenue and 161st Street inside out. On that summer afternoon, however, team security manager Frank Wilson and the other official escorted Negron into the stadium bowels, to a small police station that few even knew was located there.

Negron sat in the fetid holding cell, thinking about a wayward uncle who had met an untimely end after being drawn into a life of drugs and crime at an early age. He imagined how devastated his mother and stepfather would be by news of his arrest.

In fact, that aborted act of vandalism turned out to be the best mistake that Negron ever made. The other man who apprehended him was one George Michael Steinbrenner, a.k.a. the Boss, the larger-than-life team owner who decided to let Negron work off the damage he’d inflicted by apprenticing in the Yankees clubhouse.

Thus began a decades-long association for the Queens resident, not just with Steinbrenner but with the flagship Major League Baseball franchise.

This almost too-good-to-be-true anecdote helps kick off Yankee Miracles: Life with the Boss and the Bronx Bombers, the 2012 memoir co-written by Negron and Sally Cook. The volume affords a pleasant and sometimes surprising trip into the distant and recent pasts of the most famous team in all of American sports. Read the rest of this entry »

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