Golf outings are a New York staple this time of year. Every organization has one from churches to fraternal groups to charities and they are a very good way of raising money for the causes they champion.
And yesterday, Hank Steinbrenner’s Hank’s Yanks held its annual golf outing to raise money for little league baseball teams from inner-city areas.
Headed up by Leo Caputo and founded by Ray Negron, Hanks Yanks has been around for 12 years and the golf outing is its chief fundraiser for the year. This year, the outing was held up at the Burning Tree Country Club in Greenwich, CT and featured Hall of Famers Tim Raines and Fred McGriff, former Yankees, including Orlando “El Duque” Hernandez, Carl Pavano and Ramiro Mendoza and former Mets and Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine, who is from nearby Stamford, among others.
Most of the foursomes, included one of the invited guests, including mine, which has Hernandez playing with the lucky participants. El Duque made it a very fun time, joking with us and even giving golf newbies like me some tips. It’s the type of once in a lifetime opportunity everyone dreams about, especially if they are baseball fans.
There were some surprises along the way, including a beat the pro on a par-3 hole, where you can win a prize or two and even a longest drive pro on a par-five, which gave our group an eventual birdie.
At the after party, Negron spoke and the stirred the audience with his speech about keeping kids off the streets not only through sports, but also with love, what he called “the most important word in the world.”
Awards were given out to Charlie Santoro of the YES Network, who received the Humanitarian Award and El Duque received the Good Guy award for his work over the years with the tournament. Negron also gave special thanks to Sal Agostinelli of the Phillies, Ron Carapezzi of United Site Services, Ryan Ambrifi of Land Rover Fairfield, and Mike Ianelli of Toyota of Manhattan.
The members of Hank’s Yanks who were at the party, were wearing patches from Gleybar Torres and right at the end, after it was announced, Torres hit a home run in Baltimore, as almost if it was on cue. When Negron announced the home run, everyone cheered.
It was that kind of day in Greenwich.
A special thanks to the YES Network for all they do for the kids and a special thanks to Mike Dempsey for putting it together.