Today I wake up on the 4th of July and the first thing in my mind is naturally being a Yankee, that it’s George Steinbrenner’s birthday.
He would of been 88 years old. He is missed by so many. I can only imagine what his family feels. People that he didn’t even know in the Bronx were always touched by his surprise kind gestures. (That’s a story for another day).
I think of my father in law Charlie Bunger, the king of surfing. We lost Charlie on Monday because of Cancer. He died a multi millionaire not in money but in heart and soul.
I think of Billy Martin who to me was the best manager ever. This was without all the mathematical techniques that are used today. For me personally Billy thought me that it was ok to fight back. He was the first Yankee to tell me that he loved me.
I think of Thurman Munson and Bobby Murcer. They were like brothers and they made this Puerto Rican boy always feel like a part of their family.
I think of my dear pal John Szponar who we lost last week. John was our Community director in Tampa. John had to deal with the most powerful owner in the history of sports (Mr. Steinbrenner). The Boss always had his hands in the community and when he had to sound off because he never felt like he did enough, John had to take the brunt of it. Like I said in the past he took it with dignity and always loved the Boss.
I think of my mom and step dad. They were born with two strikes against them but as long as they had a bat in their hands they always had a chance to get a hit, in more ways than one.
They are all gone now and I miss them so very much. It took everyone of these people and more to mold me into the person I am today.
The one thing that they all truly had in common was that they were so damn proud to be an American!
I am eternally grateful to them for imbedding that into my brain.
No matter how bad you may think these streets are(and they are) This is still the greatest country in the world.
Happy Birthday America, and the home of the brave!