Before Hank Steinbrenner left this world, he asked me to make sure to get different people in the game to take over the Hank’s Yanks Organization. This is a program that Hank helped put together in 2009.
The program helped many kids go to college, not to mention twenty five kids getting drafted with two of those players, Williams Jerez and Joe Polombo achieving the ultimate goal of getting to the big leagues. Jerez with the Anaheim Angels and Pittsburgh Pirates and Polombo with the Texas Rangers. Jerez recently said that if it wasn’t for Hank and all his support, there is no way that he could of gotten to the major leagues.
When Hank asked me who I thought could be the face of the league I told him that no one could. He said, “Ok I will ask you again,” and I told him I would let him know.
Unfortunately Hank died before I could really give this matter the attention that he wanted me to give it.
During the pandemic I got to see the love and attention that Hall of Famer Roberto Alomar gives to his own kids’ baseball program called Alomar Sports. I learned that he has been helping kids all around the world. He has also been taking kids that generally could not afford to, go to baseball tournaments in Canada, Latin America and his native Puerto Rico. When I told Roberto about Hank’s request, Roberto said that he would definitely do anything for Hank. Roberto said that since he was a little boy he saw all the good that all the Steinbrenners have done for the world. He said that he will never forget how great George Steinbrenner was to his father Sandy, during his last years as a major league player.
Roberto got together with Leo Caputo, president of the Hank’s Yanks Organization, and worked on the overall structure of his program so that they could put together a smooth transition.
A big part of the program will be to have different age brackets named after different players. For example, the 11 and 12 year olds will be named after Gleyber Torres and the 13 and 14 year olds will be named after Gio Urshela.
Gio and Gleyber have spent a lot of time at schools and hospitals and also have conducted baseball clinics for many of these kids. Ironically they both have won the Thurman Munson Humanitarian award for all their efforts in the community. These two terrific players actually designed their team’s uniforms. Roberto also designed the overall league uniforms.
The official announcement will come during the annual charity golf tournament that helps raise funds for the kids.
Hank may not be here any longer however, what he achieved for these kids and the true love they he always showed them will never, ever be forgotten.