BAY RIDGE — The story of a legendary Bronx Bomber is coming to Brooklyn.
New York Yankees executive Ray Negron’s insightful new play, “Bat Boy: A Yankee Miracle,” tells the true story of Negron’s rise from bat boy to an executive in the Yankees organization. Along with a successful career in management, Negron is also a noted children’s author, community leader and humanitarian.
“Bat Boy: A Yankee Miracle” will be presented by Negron on Friday, Jan. 10 at 7 p.m. at the Fort Hamilton Army Base Theater at 114 White Ave. The event is free and open to the public with registration. Go to Hamilton.ArmyMWR.com for more info.
The play features Yankee legend Dwight “Doc” Gooden, Sal “The Voice” Valentinetti playing Thurman Munson, guitarist Ricky Byrd who performed with Joan Jett, former Drifters vocalist Dave Revels and former boxing champ Iran Barkley.
Negron’s amazing journey began decades ago when at 16 years of age, he was caught spraying graffiti on a wall at Yankee Stadium by New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner. As fate would have it, Steinbrenner decided against putting Negron in jail and instead offered him a second chance, making him the batboy for what some believe to be the greatest franchise in sports history.
Negron was propelled into a dream job, sharing the dugout with the “Bronx Zoo” team of the ‘70s. He became a positive influence in the fiery clubhouse that included Manager Billy Martin, superstar Reggie Jackson and Munson. And for the next 35 years, Steinbrenner and Negron built a special relationship until Steinbrenner’s death in 2010.
Steinbrenner’s vision lives on through Negron. As a community consultant for the Yankees, Negron is immersed in ensuring that veteran players and Yankee rookies promote the tradition of the club’s pride and inspiration by visiting terminally ill children in hospitals and supporting the inner-city youth throughout New York. He is the founder of “Hank’s Yanks,” a not-for-profit competitive youth travel baseball team of underprivileged kids (ages 10-18) sponsored by New York Yankees co-owner Hank Steinbrenner.
Negron is an avid writer and has written four children’s books. His first book, “The Boy of Steel,” was #2 on the New York Times Bestseller List and is currently displayed at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.
His third book, “One Last Time: Goodbye to Yankee Stadium,” reached #1 on Amazon’s Bestseller List.
In 2012, Negron published his memoirs, “Yankee Miracles: Life with the Boss,” and co-wrote a children’s holiday book with Yankees pitcher C.C. Sabathia.
As a film producer, Negron developed the full-length animated feature film “Henry and Me” about a boy’s magical journey as he battles cancer, based on his children’s books.
Negron is a member of the International Latino Hall of Fame and the Ted Williams Hall of Fame for his humanitarian efforts with children around the country.
The 63-year-old Negron has referred to “Bat Boy: A Yankee Miracle” as “The story of my life and my love for the Yankees.” Currently the play is being readied for Off-Broadway in the spring.
He was also recently inducted into the New York State Baseball Hall of Fame, ironically with Thurman Munson, Bobby Murcer, Ron Guidry and Yankee Trainer Gene Monohan.