Yesterday was Gleyber Day at P.S. 55 in the Bronx. Yankees rookie sensation Gleyber Torres received “The Boss Award” at the elementary school that has been visited by so many players throughout the years. The award is given to the Yankee player that gives of himself both on and off the field. The award was created in honor of the great Yankees owner George M Steinbrenner, not only because of his incredible work ethic and desire but also because of his wonderful love of all children and his unbelievable respect of the less privileged.
Past recipients have been Alex Rodriguez, Dellin Betances, Carlos Beltran and C.C.Sabathia.
Gleyber, who at 21 years of age is the youngest Yankee on the Yankees roster this year.
All throughout the season he has shown a giant heart to so many kids that have visited the Stadium. He always takes the time to visit with and talk to all kids and also shows kids in the community that they are somebody too.
Louis Torres, the principal at the school, greeted Gleyber by telling him that they are related, because of the same last name. Principal Torres made Gleyber the principal for a day.
Gleybers first duty as principal was to greet the students on the public address system. When he announced, “Hey kids this is Gleyber Torres,” you could hear a gasp throughout the building. Gleyber then met with some of the teachers, took pictures and signed a picture that would be added onto the schools wall of fame.
When Gleyber walked into the auditorium, the kids screemed out, “Yankees, Yankees, Yankees!”
In his speech, Gleyber said that as a little boy he had dreams and they came true and that all kids should have dreams and that they should never give up on their dreams.
One kid asked Gleyber how is it to live in his native Venezuela. Gleyber responded by saying that things are though in his country but he hopes and prays that things will get better. When Gleyber was told that the school was located in the poorest congressional district in the country you could see the look of concern in his face.
Then his face lit up and Gleyber said that he would try to give the kids a good game that night. Well the kids must of really motivated him because he got two hits and an rbi in that nights game.
In closing Gleyber told all the students that he would do his best to help the Yankees win this year but that he wanted to see all the students do their best in school this year to.
Many years ago, I brought rookie Robinson Cano to the same school. Just like Gleyber, principal Torres made Robinson feel so very welcomed and he even told Robinson the same corny jokes.
But the most important thing was that after the visit Robinson truly understood that his role in society was more important than just being a baseball player. I think Gleyber got that message as well.
After Gleyber said his goodbyes to Principal Torres and all the VIPs that were there, he got into the car and asked me, “How did I do?”
I told him that I thought he was great and more importantly the kids really heard you. Twenty years from now they will remember that you visited them and some will remember what you had to say.
Special thanks to NYPD and Chief Nilda Hofmann and Chief Beltran and Asst Commisioner Ramon Garcia.