The game’s results are meaningless, but the Red Sox won the game 5-3.
Even as everyone continued to drool over the second stand out performance by Yankee pitching prospect Manny Banuelos, there was a story told about something off the field that captivated anyone who was listening. The fact that this was kept quiet makes it all the more meaningful.
It is well worth reading and knowing, as it made me proud not only to be a Yankees fan but a baseball fan. Here is the story PART OF ONE BIG FAMILY written by Daniel Barbarsi of the Wall Street Journal:
TAMPA—Hours before a game last September, word went around the Yankee clubhouse that hitting coach Kevin Long wanted to gather the entire team for a rare meeting.
Soon, the players were huddled up, and Long told them about Bridget, an 11-year-old girl they had never met, the daughter of Ron Johnson, the first base coach for the Red Sox.
Bridget, Long said, had been in an accident. She was riding a horse alongside the road in August, near the Johnsons’ Tennessee home. A driver came around the corner a little too fast and plowed into Bridget’s horse, severing the young girl’s leg above the knee.
Bridget survived, and doctors re-attached the leg—but her body rejected it, and it had to be removed. She would need a prosthetic leg, and although the Red Sox had been financially generous to Johnson, money was still a problem, Long told the roomful of Yankee players.
Johnson had been Long’s minor-league manager in the mid-1990s. When Long’s playing career was winding down, Johnson helped Long get his first coaching job, with the Kansas City Royals—even going to management on Long’s behalf when a promised job offer didn’t materialize. It was a debt Long always wanted to repay.
“Our friendship is deep. It goes way, way back,” Long said. “Friends aren’t just there for the good times, they’re there when things go backwards on you. Anything I could help him with, I wanted to do.”
Bridget’s story touched the Yankees. It didn’t matter one bit that Johnson worked for the rival Red Sox, A.J. Burnett said.
“He came to us, and you could hear it in K-Long’s voice how important it was to him,” Burnett said. “You just wanted to help in any way you can. We’re a huge family here. Whether you’re a Yankee or anybody else, we’re all in it together.” Continue reading ‘A Story That Makes You Hate The New York Yankees A Little Less’ »