April 2010

Yankees visit Bethesda Naval Hospital and Pentagon

April 28, 2010–This morning, I accompanied Curtis
Granderson, Randy Winn, Marcus Thames, Nick Johnson, Boone Logan and assistant
GM Jean Afterman to the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

During our two-hour stay at the military hospital, the
players met with 10 wounded soldiers from the Marines and the Navy.

Several of the meet-and-greet sessions lasted 10 minutes,
others lasted 20 minutes and a few even approached a half hour. Each soldier
had the opportunity to share their story of courage with the Yankees players.
And as the case was on Monday when the 2009 championship team visited the
Walter Reed Medical Center, every soldier we met had suffered severe injuries
while fighting in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Most of soldiers were amputees, and all of them were
optimistic and eager to return to active duty.

“It’s hard to imagine how these guys could be so up-beat,
but it really puts things in perspective,” Curtis Granderson said. “They’re
dealing with a lot more than we can ever imagine, and none of these guys voiced
a single complaint today.”

One soldier, who asked to remain un-named, suffered a gunshot
wound to his leg last week in Iraq. He was scheduled for surgery this morning,
but he was held in his room until the Yankees arrived. After meeting the
players and getting a look at the 2009 World Series trophy, he was taken to the
operating room.

Another soldier that will stand out in my mind of a long
time is staff sergeant Josh Hudson of the United States Marines. Hudson was
shot in his right leg on April 19 at 11:30 a.m. (He remembered the exact time
it happened).

Since being injured nine days ago, Hudson has undergone four
surgeries in four different hospitals (two in Afghanistan, one in Iraq and one
in Maryland).

Hudson, whose wife and two sons were with him, proudly
shared the details of his deployment and his ultimate return to the United
States. He explained that while he was leading a group of fellow Marines
through a maze-like area of buildings in search of enemy troops, a rifleman,
who was hiding behind a building, shot him, and then fled.

Nick Johnson asked Hudson if he ever found out who shot him,
and Hudson delivered this emotional response.

“I never got a chance to get to him, but my guys when on a
retribution mission, and I’ll leave it at that. Let’s just say, it made me very
proud.”

Hudson, who is pictured below with his wife and sons Aiden
Michael (wearing Yankees hat) and John Wyatt, was grateful to have the chance
to tell his story to today’s visitors.

“This leaves a lasting impact,” Hudson said. “It’s one thing
to watch these guys on TV, but for them to take personal time out to see us, shows
that they really care.”

After our time at the hospital, Afterman and other Yankees
employees drove to the Pentagon. We had the unique opportunity to visit the
main briefing room, where we posed the photo below with the 2009 World Series
Trophy.

“At this podium, we’ve had all the secretaries of defense,
chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, service chiefs, Presidents and cabinet
members, but we’ve never had the New York Yankees — until today,” said Douglas
Wilson, who is the assistant secretary of defense for public affairs.

Later in the afternoon, the trophy was put on display in the
main corridor of the Pentagon. Hundreds of service men and women posed for
photos with the hardware.

The Pentagon stop concluded a most memorable and spectacular Washington, D.C. trophy tour, which included the 2009 Yankees’ reception at the White House.

–Alfred Santasiere III 

Navy Hospital Blog Photo.jpg

Pentagon Blog Photo.jpg

Trophy goes to Supreme Court and Senate

April 27, 2010 — Today was another rewarding day in the nation’s capital.

A day after the Yankees’ trip to Walter Reed Medical Center and the White House, I accompanied Assistant GM Jean Afterman — and the 2009 World Series Trophy — to the Supreme Court, where we were welcomed by Justice Sonia Sotomayor.
After a brief tour of the courthouse, the trophy was put on display in a large conference room. From the minute Sotomayor entered the room, she posed for photographs with members of her staff, the Yankees contingent and other Supreme Court employees. Even Justice Clarence Thomas took time to meet Yankees brass.
Sotomayor, who was born and raised in the shadows of Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, could not have been more giving of her time and could not have been a more gracious host.
“Justice Sotomayor is a warm person,” Afterman said. “She’s a huge Yankees fan and supporter of the Bronx and New York. She feels keenly about her moment and place in the world and in history. She carries that with her into the Supreme Court, and she’s a voice that is heard.
“She greeted everyone that came to see the trophy, and hundreds of people were there,” Afterman continued.
My personal highlight came when I presented the Justice with a  copy of my latest book, Twenty-Seven. Sotomayor thanked me for the book, and promptly asked me to autograph it for her. Of course, I signed the book. I was honored that someone of Sotomayor’s stature — and someone who will have a prominent place in American history books — wanted my autograph. 
From the Supreme Court, we traveled a few blocks away and arrived at the United States Capital at 1:00 pm. The World Series trophy was put on display in the United States Senate dining room, and several injured soldiers from Walter Reed Medical Center posed for photos with the championship hardware.
Stay tuned because the Washington, D.C. portion of the World Series Trophy Tour rolls on tomorrow.
–Alfred Santasiere III

Yankees make impact at Walter Reed, visit White House

April 26, 2010 — There have been far too many days to
count… Far too many days in which I’ve beamed with pride because I’m a member
of the New York Yankees front office.

Today was one of those days. In fact, that feeling of pride
was never more apparent within my inner being than it was today.

I am not only proud to have had the opportunity to join the
team at the White House, where we were welcomed at 3:00 pm by President Barack
Obama, but I was overwhelmed by the first stop in our busy day.

At 10:30 am, the entire team arrived at Walter Reed Medical
Center, which is one of the largest military hospitals on the East Coast. Each
player and coach spent more than two hours with wounded soldiers and their
families. They visited with a countless number of severely injured soldiers,
the majority of which were single, double or triple amputees.

The visit was impactful, but not because the team signed a
ton of autographs or posed for hundreds of photos. But because, in the words of
Army Specialist Phillip Cross, who was seriously injured in Iraq: “They
listened to our stories. They wanted to know what happened to us, and they were
interested in how we were doing. For America’s baseball heroes to show that
type of concern, it goes a long way in lifting our spirits. And when you’re
going through what a lot of these guys are dealing with, that’s awesome.”

“Those guys are our heroes,” Andy Pettite told me as we
boarded Bus 1 for the White House. “They keep us safe, and they’re paying the
ultimate sacrifice. Seeing those guys, who have lost body parts to preserve our
freedom, it really puts things in perspective. We’re able to play baseball for
a living because of their sacrifices.”

We arrived at the White House at 2:00 pm and took an
hour-long tour before assembling the East Room. A few minutes later, Vice
President Joe Biden and President Obama entered the elegant space, and the
President kicked off the Yankees ceremony with some humor.

“This team goes down to spring training every year expecting
to win it all.” President Obama said. “And more times than not, they do. Of
course, if I had Mariano Rivera, I’d expect to win it all every year as well.”

The President quickly turned his focus to the work the
Yankees have done in the community over the last few years. He lauded Derek
Jeter and Jorge Posada for the contributions they’ve made through their
respective foundations. The President applauded Mark Teixeira for the
scholarship fund he founded in honor of his high school teammate, who was
tragically killed in a car accident. And the President gave praise to Joe
Girardi and the entire team for the lives they impacted during last year’s HOPE
Week events.

Before turning the mic over to Girardi, President Obama
discussed the team’s first stop of the day, and he summarized what it is to be
a New York Yankee.

“The Yankees winning spirit was on display today, when the
team visited Walter Reed and spent time with our armed forces and their
families and brought hope and joy to families who really needed it,” the
President said. “I want to personally thank the Yankees organization for that.”

“That’s what makes the Yankees special,” he continued. “It’s
not the names on their roster or the size of their trophy case. It’s the people
underneath the pinstripes that set this team apart. It’s the players and
coaches who share a belief that anyone with first-class talent has the
obligation to be a first-class person. That is what being a Yankee is all
about.”

And that is why I am so proud to be a part of the New York
Yankees organization.

–Alfred Santasiere III

Walter Reed Blog Photo.jpg

Barack Obama - White House - 4-26-10 (EDITED).jpg

Joe Biden - White House.jpg

Yankees Magazine TV Show – APRIL 28

Former Yankees catcher Rick Cerone and I were interviewed for Yankees Magazine, the TV show on the YES Network.

The TV version of Yankees Magazine is running a segment on the 30th Anniversary issue of Yankees Magazine (the print version).
Our segment will air on Wednesday April 28 at noon, and it will be re-played several times during that week on the YES Network.
Rick Cerone graced the first cover of Yankees Magazine (print version) 30 years ago, and my feature story in anniversary issue is also on Rick. 
That issue comes out on May 3, and can be purchased at Yankee Stadium, on-line at yankees.com/publications or by calling (800) GO-YANKS. You can also find it on select news-stands in the Tri-State area.
I spent the day with Rick on March 17 in his hometown of Newark, NJ, and I am thrilled with how the story came out.
Don’t miss the show (TV version of Yankees Magazine) and be sure to pick up a copy of print version of the magazine in May.
–Alfred Santasiere III  
Rick Cerone.jpg

We’ll never forget you, Harvey

On
April 17, the New York Yankees paid tribute to longtime executive Harvey C.
Winston with a private reception at Yankee Stadium.

Harvey,
who passed away in January, began his tenure with the Yankees as a mailroom
messenger in 1987. In 1995, he was promoted to director of office
administration, a position he held until becoming the organization’s director
of premium services in 2008.

Harvey was my close friend and a tremendous asset to the Yankees organization. As you’ll see below, we dedicated the 2010 New York Yankees Official Yearbook to Harvey. In that dedication page, Yankees VP Brian Smith says that here is no title that could truly describe all of Harvey’s contributions. I couldn’t agree with that statement more.

As
part of the evening in which the Yankees celebrated Harvey’s life, chief operating officer Lonn Trost, manager Joe Girardi, senior
vice president/chief financial officer Robert Brown, senior vice
president/chief security officer Sonny Hight and director of media relations
Jason Zillo delivered speeches about their late colleague in front of a group
that included Harvey’s family, friends and coworkers.

“Harvey
will always be in out hearts, and he will always be a presence at Yankee
Stadium,” Girardi said. “He will never be forgotten.”

The
Yankees also unveiled a plaque of Winston, which will be displayed at Yankee
Stadium.

The
team dedicated its April 18 game against Texas to Winston and in a pregame
ceremony, Girardi presented Winston’s mother, Mattie, with his 2009 World
Series ring.

The
Yankees turned in a performance that Winston would have been proud of,
defeating the Texas Rangers, 5-2. As the Yankees celebrated the victory, an
image of Winston was displayed on the center-field scoreboard with a message:
“This one’s for you, Harvey.”

–Alfred Santasiere III

HARVEY TRIBUTE.jpg

20100418_Harvey_Winston_Ceremony_LR_11.jpg

We'll never forget you, Harvey

On
April 17, the New York Yankees paid tribute to longtime executive Harvey C.
Winston with a private reception at Yankee Stadium.

Harvey,
who passed away in January, began his tenure with the Yankees as a mailroom
messenger in 1987. In 1995, he was promoted to director of office
administration, a position he held until becoming the organization’s director
of premium services in 2008.

Harvey was my close friend and a tremendous asset to the Yankees organization. As you’ll see below, we dedicated the 2010 New York Yankees Official Yearbook to Harvey. In that dedication page, Yankees VP Brian Smith says that here is no title that could truly describe all of Harvey’s contributions. I couldn’t agree with that statement more.

As
part of the evening in which the Yankees celebrated Harvey’s life, chief operating officer Lonn Trost, manager Joe Girardi, senior
vice president/chief financial officer Robert Brown, senior vice
president/chief security officer Sonny Hight and director of media relations
Jason Zillo delivered speeches about their late colleague in front of a group
that included Harvey’s family, friends and coworkers.

“Harvey
will always be in out hearts, and he will always be a presence at Yankee
Stadium,” Girardi said. “He will never be forgotten.”

The
Yankees also unveiled a plaque of Winston, which will be displayed at Yankee
Stadium.

The
team dedicated its April 18 game against Texas to Winston and in a pregame
ceremony, Girardi presented Winston’s mother, Mattie, with his 2009 World
Series ring.

The
Yankees turned in a performance that Winston would have been proud of,
defeating the Texas Rangers, 5-2. As the Yankees celebrated the victory, an
image of Winston was displayed on the center-field scoreboard with a message:
“This one’s for you, Harvey.”

–Alfred Santasiere III

HARVEY TRIBUTE.jpg

20100418_Harvey_Winston_Ceremony_LR_11.jpg

So far, so good (or great)

If the Yankees hold on to their 7-0 lead over the Texas Rangers, they will up their record to an impressive 8-3. 

What’s equally as eye-opening is the fact that there’s been a different hero in nearly every game thus far. Here’s a list (in no specific order) that details the Yankees depth:
Curtis Granderson hit a game-winning home run in the rubber-match of the Yankees first series of the year — against the Boston Red Sox. He also hit two triples in Thursday night’s (April 15) win over the Angels. He’s currently batting .317 with four stolen bases.
Robinson Cano has already hit four home runs, two of which powered the Yankees over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on Thursday night (April 15) — which happened to be the anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s first major league game.
Derek Jeter hit a two-run homer in today’s game against Texas. The blast was the captain’s third of the year, and he’s batting .367.
Alex Rodriguez hit his first home run of the season today (April 17). The home run gave the Yankees a commanding 7-0 lead and placed A-Rod in eighth place on baseball’s all-time home run list with 584 blasts. Mark McGwire finished his career with 583.
Jorge Posada’s three hits, including two doubles, in the Yankees home opener (April 13) helped the Yanks defeat the Angels.
Posada’s backup, Francisco Cervelli, has started two games this season. In his first start (April 10), Cervelli went 1-for-3 with a double and two RBI. Last night (April 16), Cervelli collected two hits and an RBI.
Marcus Thames went 2-for-3 in last night’s win over Texas (April 16). Thames has collected five hits in his last seven at-bats.
CC Sabathia is 2-0. After getting a non-decision in the season’s first game, Sabathia has been dominant in his last two starts. He allowed one run over six innings last night (April 16), while striking out nine Texas Rangers. Sabathia did not allow a run against Tampa on April 10 — and he didn’t allow a hit until the eighth inning.
Andy Pettitte is 1-0 with a 0.75 ERA in two starts. Enough said!
A.J. Burnett has not allowed a run through seven innings today (April 17). He surrendered two runs over seven innings in an April 11 win over Tampa Bay.
Phil Hughes made his season debut on April 15. He allowed two runs over 5 1/3 innings and earned the win.
The season is young, but as they, so far so good. Well, the Yankees have actually been great so far.
–Alfred Santasiere III
20100413_Andy_Pettitte_ODay_LR_02.jpg

Staying Power

It’s hard to believe that Andy
Pettitte’s first Opening Day start — on a snowy day in 1996 — was 14 years
ago.

Maybe that time span seems
unrealistic because Pettitte’s still got it so many years later.

That may be an understatement.
Pettitte pitched six innings and did not allow a run, while only giving up five
hits in the Yanks’ home opener.

Pettitte left the game with his team
leading the Anaheim Angels, 3-0. And in the bottom of the sixth, the Yankees
tacked on two more runs to make it 5-0.

Pettitte is part of the Yankees “Core
4.” Along with Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera, Pettitte received
his fifth World Series ring today.

If Pettitte’s Opening Day performance
is an indication of things to come, 2010 will be another strong year for the
37-year-old.

–Alfred Santasiere III

This One’s For You, Boss

Prior to today’s ring ceremony, Joe Girardi and Derek Jeter visited George Steinbrenner in the owner’s suite and presented him with his 2009 World Series ring.

“This one’s for you, Boss,” Girardi said as he handed the ring to the Yankees principal owner. “You made it possible for us to accomplish what we did last year, and we can’t thank you enough.”
As Steinbrenner put the ring on, Jeter offered a light-hearted joke.
“Don’t you have enough rings already,” the Yankees captain said.
–Alfred Santasiere III
20100410_RINGS_JP_004.jpg

This One's For You, Boss

Prior to today’s ring ceremony, Joe Girardi and Derek Jeter visited George Steinbrenner in the owner’s suite and presented him with his 2009 World Series ring.

“This one’s for you, Boss,” Girardi said as he handed the ring to the Yankees principal owner. “You made it possible for us to accomplish what we did last year, and we can’t thank you enough.”
As Steinbrenner put the ring on, Jeter offered a light-hearted joke.
“Don’t you have enough rings already,” the Yankees captain said.
–Alfred Santasiere III
20100410_RINGS_JP_004.jpg
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