“You don’t have to be a Yankees fan to love Yankee Miracles.”—Yogi Berra
If it was not all so true, you’d think it was a fairy tale. A seventeen-year-old from Queens spray paints graffiti on Yankee Stadium and gets nabbed by George Steinbrenner himself. Contrary to his gruff public image, the Boss—driven by a compassionate inner voice—reclaims the teen at a time when the Bronx is literally burning. Thus begins the unlikeliest of baseball stories, one in which Ray Negron is transformed from street kid to batboy and beyond. Befriending many of major league baseball’s greatest stars—Billy Martin, Reggie Jackson, Munson, Mantle, Catfish, A-Rod, Jeter, even Mrs. Lou Gehrig—Negron ultimately emerges as a dynamic community leader, dedicating his own life to helping the sick and rescuing generations of city kids from unfulfilled lives. Yankee Miracles is a book about the power of baseball to transform lives, about all those miracles on 161st Street we never knew were there.
On the afternoon of June 29, 1973, young Negron opened his can of spray paint and commenced to cover one of the walls of Yankee Stadium with graffiti. Suddenly, a car pulled up and out stepped a large man who grabbed Negron by the scruff of the neck. Negron soon found himself in a holding cell deep inside the offices of the stadium, worried and waiting to discover his fate. When the man who grabbed him returned, he introduced himself as George Steinbrenner. Rather than pressing charges against Negron, the Yankees' owner gives the young boy a job as a batboy, and before long Negron is meeting all the players he's followed and idolized for years. In this adulatory memoir, Negron, a community adviser for the Yankees, recalls his encounters with players and managers from Mickey Mantle, Billy Martin, and Reggie Jackson to Alex Rodriguez, Billy Murcer, and Thurman Munson. Negron recalls the time that Mantle, in the clubhouse to prepare for playing in an old-timers' game, angrily lashed out at him for continually asking Mantle to sign baseballs; Negron cries openly in embarrassment and shame until Billy Martin smooths over the situation and teaches Negron in that moment to embrace mistakes and move on. Full of fondness and good memories, Negron's affectionate memoir reveals that his love for the Yankees and his affection for Steinbrenner haven't diminished over these many years.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Fast read.. Great insight to the Yankee family. We all thought we knew George but, we really didn't. Love the stories of some of the old Yankees from the 70's.