January 18, 2008

Inside Man: A Bronx Tale: Bronx Banter's Alex Belth profiles Ray Negron. His life in baseball began in 1973, when Steinbrenner himself caught the teenager spray painting an "NY" logo on the outside of the Stadium and gave him a job as a bat boy. "Negron has done everything from shine the players' shoes and collect their dirty jockstraps, to bring them food from their favorite restaurants and park their cars. He has been an agent, an actor, an advisor, and a liaison; a confidant, a sounding board and a whipping boy to some of the biggest egos in the game. He is whatever he needs to be." [parts two, three, & four]

posted by goddam to baseball at 11:25 PM - 4 comments

Wow. Absolutely fantastic story. Everyone always hears about the athletes, the big names, but when you really dig into things, you find it's guys like Ray Negron who kept it all together. The thing that amazes me is how fate, a split-second decision, changed the entire course of Ray's life. When he and his brothers and cousins were standing outside the old stadium spray-painting the NY on it, the limo pulls up, everyone splits but Ray, and Steinbrenner gets out and only catches him, altered the rest of Rays life. The part at the end of the story when Ray rememberst talking to his cousin, who was with him that day but ran and was now dying of AIDS brought on by drug abuse, his cousin told him, "You were lucky you got caught." Negron says how it was difficult living with the incredible truth of that comment. This quote from Ray summed it all up: "I'm not financially rich," Negron continues, "but emotionally, I'm the Howard Hughes of heart and soul emotion, spiritual, wealth. I'm a mega-billionaire that way, cause I know I've done what I'm supposed to do, okay? I'm no savior, but we can only try to do the right thing in a world when most people don't." Thanks for the link, goddam. I'm saving this one.

posted by dyams at 09:11 AM on January 19, 2008

Wow. This is the kind of story that touches your heart. Here is a man that didnít have a job title or an office, but after reading this article you get the feeling that his role has been a major one in contributing to the success that the Yankees have enjoyed. The American dream realized. You have to tip your hat to this guy. Why couldnít he have gotten caught painting a pair of sox on the green monster!

posted by amigo59 at 03:22 PM on January 19, 2008

Excellent article!!!

posted by BoriQa at 11:16 AM on January 20, 2008

Thanks goddam. Alex Belth is one the few baseball writers that can flat out write. Great article.

posted by justgary at 09:56 PM on January 27, 2008

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