NY Sports Day
Ray Negron

Negron: Bucky and Mickey … Homies

 

In my 45 years around the Yankees, I can honestly say that to see the relationship between Mickey Rivers and Bucky Dent was always a wonderful learning experience for me.

They always called each other Homie because they both came from Miami. They always looked out for each other. As a young kid I learned from them that it didn’t matter if you were black or white as long as you just cared about each other.

In the spring of 1978 the Boss (George Steinbrenner) had me room with Mickey so that he would take it easy at nights during spring training. I have to admit that with the exception of the trips to the race track that spring, the fact to the matter was that Mr Rivers ended up taking care of me. I was like a kid in a candy store living every boys dream. I was like the kid in the movie Almost Famous…. It was about a kid running around the country with a rock band. I have to tell you , the Yankees of the 70s were a rock band. We had Thurman and Reggie and Mickey and Bucky. They were the Beatles. Then we also had Piniella and Catfish and Nettles and Randolph. They were The Rolling Stones. In the spring of 79 The Boss had me room with Bucky Dent.

After Bucky had hit that big homer at Fenway Park he became a superstar. He did a major motion picture and was doing a lot of commercials. Every girl in the city fell in love with Bucky, because like Paul Mccartney of the Beatles, Bucky was the Cute Yankee. I must also add that Mickey would of been Ringo Starr, the drummer that kept the beat of the team or band together.

Like Mickey the year before, Bucky was the greatest roommate you could have. He also took care of me and would insist that I go out to dinner with him every night. He would always ask me if I needed money etc. I must also add that there were no extra girls running in and out of our room like the Boss was anticipating .That was probably my only disappointment as a teenage kid. I also think that Mr Steinbrenner was surprised himself. I actually told the Boss that had these two guys been going crazy at night, that temptation may of gotten the best of me. The Boss just laughed and said Negron what good are you.

I can’t believe that today marks the 40th anniversary of the day that Mickey Rivers noticed a crack on Bucky’s bat and handed Dent his bat. Bucky would then go on to hit one of baseballs most famous home runs.

To this day I can honestly say that Mickey Rivers and Bucky Dent are two of the greatest people that you could ever know. I will always consider these two men my big brothers, who like Thurman and Reggie Billy, Sweet Lou, Murcer, White and of course The Boss, helped stear a troubled young man in the right direction.

For this I will be eternally grateful.

You can see Mickey Rivers as himself in the play ‘BATBOY ‘ at Hostos Community College in the Bronx on October 19, at 8pm. As well as the Argyle Theatre in Babylon Long Island on the 17th At 7:30 and the Tilles Center At C.W.Post on the 23rd At 7:30.

 


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