Baseball might be considered America's favorite pastime, but to a 17-year-old graffiti artist from Queens, it also became a saving grace. While spray-painting his "art" on Yankee Stadium in the Bronx on June 29th, 1973, Ray Negron was caught in the act by George Steinbrenner, the Yankees' infamous owner. But instead of prosecuting the vandal, "The Boss" showed uncharacteristic compassion and offered the young Negron a way to work off his transgression by helping out the team. This begins a moving story of how a fatherless street kid and vandal, given a chance by an unlikely savior, transformed himself from batboy to gofer to batting practice pitcher, ultimately becoming a much beloved and trusted inner-circle member of the Bronx Bombers.
With an assist from Sally Cook (Another Season), Negron--a loyal Yankee employee for nearly four decades--pays tribute to the powerful and oft-maligned Steinbrenner for his role in changing his life, while also presenting a plethora of surreal moments and memories shaped by baseball greats like Billy Martin, Reggie Jackson, Thurman Munson, Bobby Murcer, Phil Rizzuto, Catfish Hunter, A-Rod and Derek Jeter. Told with candor and admiration, Yankee Miracles is an inspirational mosaic detailing Negron's unusual relationship with each of his heroes and the wisdom and lessons they imparted--and of how Negron, now a community adviser for the team, has dedicated himself to helping sick and needy city kids find joy, fulfillment and hope in their own lives.
Yankee Miracles by Ray Negron
Liveright, $25.99, Hardcover, 9780871404619, 288 pp
Publication Date: September 3, 2012
Please note: This review is a reprint and is being posted with the permission of Shelf Awareness. To read this review on Shelf Awareness: Reader's Edition (9/7/12), click HERE.