TAMPA – Former Major League star and one-time World Series MVP Pedro Guerrero suffered a stroke Tuesday while visiting family in New York City. Tonight I got down on my hands and knees and prayed for his recovery.
I will never forget 1981 and the Yankees losing to the Dodgers in the World Series and this incredible hitter did some major damage on the field. I will never forget how upset George Steinbrenner got every time Pedro drove in another run. In all he drove in five runs that day.
Steinbrenner was so upset that the next morning he ended up punching one wise guy Dodger fan in the face and broke his hand. For years I looked at Pedro as a villain because at the way he broke the Boss’ heart. Over the course of the last few years I’ve gotten to know Pedro very well and he was nothing like the person I thought he would be.
He always seemed to be in New York because of his family in upper Manhattan and the Bronx. He was involved with a youth sports program called Grand Slam that I have helped for quite a few years. We attended many functions together and whenever in New York he would never say no when asked.
He always treated me with class and dignity as he did with everyone else. Last year we had the opening of the Little League season at the old Yankee Stadium field. There must have been 1,000 kids out there and in English and Spanish he told the kids to respect their parents and to respect baseball.
He said, “Enjoy the game like it’s going to be your last day on Earth.” After the event he came over to say goodbye and I thanked him for his time and he said, “I’ll always be there when you need me.” I asked him why are you always cool with me and he said, ” I have always had great respect for the Yankee organization and let’s not forget that you are one of Steinbrenner’s Yankees.”
We have lost a lot of good people over the course of the last year and too many to mention. I pray to God again please don’t take Pedro yet. Amen!
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