TAMPA – Marcus Stroman is a hero in two countries and was the MVP in the World Baseball Classic. However, his dad, Earl Stroman, is a police officer in Suffolk County, NY and puts his life on the line in those mean streets every day. I know that for a fact, because my son Jon-Erik works under Earl as a police officer, as well. I’m proud to say that Marcus considers his dad his all-time hero and says he couldn’t be prouder of him.
Please enjoy my exclusive Q & A with Marcus Stroman of the Toronto Blue Jays.
Ray Negron: Marcus it is a real pleasure for me to sit down with you. You are the most flamboyant and exciting player to come out of Long Island since Jim Brown. And everyone knows the legend of Jim Brown and what I can gather, I love the legend of Marcus Stroman. You are a great example for the youth coming out of New York. I’m a big fan of your father. I know how he talks about you, but tell me, who is your hero?
Marcus Stroman: My father. My family in general, but I’m a big reflection of him. A lot of him shows in where I am now in terms of development. And he has installed a lot of beliefs that I still carry in me to this day. It helped shape me as a young man. It was vital to me growing up. It was vital to me going to college and vital to me playing pro ball. I have a lot of values my pops taught me.
RN: What was it important for you to finish your education?
MS: Education and school was always the main point of emphasis for me. Education first and then everything else after that was fun. My parents always stressed and pushed academics before anything. I had to have all my work done and homework done. And my pops had me do extra work before I had to train and go out with my friends. It was a tough upbringing, but I am thankful that I did it.
RN: I worked throughout the years with the Reggie Jacksons, the George Steinbrenners, the Doc Goodens, the list goes on. You would have made a great Yankee. Why is it so many people respect you the way they do?
MS: It definitely has to do with the work ethic and how hard I work on a daily basis to be the best in this game. I don’t take anything for granted. And I stayed true to myself through it all. It’s easy to change in this life and a lot of people get in your ear to do something this way. I am able to stay myself throughout this entire process. It shows on the mound. It shows how true I am. That is why I think I can identify with my peers as a role model.
RN: Last thing. One piece of advice you would have for the youth of the city and people who are getting ready to graduate from school now?
MS: Never panic, just manage. It’s a quote I had tattooed on my wrist recently. Life is never easy, so you have to do your best to prosper in that moment and hopefully things will work out in your favor. You only can control the things you can control. Never panic, just manage as long as you keep your faith.
RN: I would like to wish Suffolk County Police Officer Jon-Erik Negron a happy 32nd birthday. Keep protecting those streets.
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