Hundreds of elementary and middle school children got the thrill of a lifetime when seven Yankees showed up at their school to give them a few words of encouragement.
Players Ian Kennedy, Michael Dunn, Alfredo Aceves, Ramiro Pena, Francisco Cervelli, Damaso Marte, and Alex Rodriguez visited an assembly at St. Simon Stock School, located at 2195 Valentine Avenue, on Monday, September 28.
The players addressed the students in both English and Spanish, telling the children to follow their dreams.
“Treat your peers well, and respect your teachers and mentors,” Alex Rodriguez said to the students.
Rodriguez told the kids that he is very excited to be a part of the Yankee organization, which he believes is the best in all of baseball.
He also said that the team, which are in the playoffs, behaves like a family whether they are in the clubhouse at Yankee Stadium or on the road.
“My dream was to be a major league baseball player,” Rodriguez recalled when asked a question by one of his students about what it was like to stand in his shoes. “To get to dress up in the Yankee uniform and play is a tremendous privilege.”
The visit by players who serve as role models for the children in the borough showed the Yankees to be a true hometown team.
Bronx Catholic Schools Superintendent Rosanne Carotenuto, a life-long Yankee fan, was nearly speechless.
“This is a dream come true for our children,” she said.
Angela Ceparano, the principal of St. Simon Stock School, said that one of the school’s teachers, working part time as a cashier at Yankee Stadium, made contact with George Steinbrenner’s personal assistant Ray Negron.
Negron, with the help of Bronx Chamber of Commerce CEO Lenny Caro, helped make the visit happen.
“I see this as a perfect opportunity for the players to give back to the community, and for the children to see Yankee players up-close and first-hand,” Ceparano said. “This is an important visit since many of the players came from neighborhoods like the ones the children are from. This visit should be inspiring for the children because through hard work and dedication, these Yankee players were able to achieve great success.”
©2009 Community News Group