Ray Negron Interviews Left-Handed Baseball Great CC Sabathia Read Newsmax: Ray Negron Interviews Left-Handed Baseball Great CC Sabathia | Newsmax.com Urgent: Do you approve of Pres. Trump? Vote Here in Poll

In 1999, I was in Cleveland helping Cleveland Indians General Manager, John Hart, and his special assistant, Tom (T- Bone) Giordano, with Doc Gooden’s drug recovery program. I also worked with team Psychologist, Charlie Maher, who has been considered one of the best ever in sports. Charlie and John asked me to assist with the latin and young players. One of these young players was a 19 year old kid from California named C.C. Sabathia. John Hart told me at the time that if this kid walked the straight and narrow in baseball that his abilities would get him to the hall of fame. At the time, I remember introducing C.C. to Doc Gooden and I will never forget how excited C.C. was to meet Doc. I will also never forget how honest Doc was with C.C. about his life. I will always be grateful to George Steinbrenner, John Hart and Tom Giordano for agreeing and understanding that I needed to go to Cleveland to babysit Doc. (The Boss literally checked on Doc and me several times during the week.) This also introduced me to the world of sports psychology and how important it is. The highlight will always be the big lefthander from California that is still the same person now that he was 20 years ago, if that’s even possible.

Please read the Q&A with:

C. C. Sabathia and you can watch the video on my Facebook page, Ray Negron or Instagram @raynegronyanks

Ray: So C.C., everything that has been written, I don’t have to ask you anymore, because it’s been out there. Everybody knows the legend of C.C. Sabathia. You were a Cleveland Indian initially, I saw you as a teenage kid, how do you feel about the fact that it’s been so long ago?

C.C.: Yeah, it’s been 19 years since I came up. It’s been a blessing. Being able to get the chance to play for this organization late in my career, I couldn’t ask for a better organization to come to. The last 11 years has been unbelievable. To be able to end with the Yankees was a dream of mine. I thank the Steinbrenner family for getting that done and letting me end my career here. I am excited for this last year and to go out with a bang.

Ray: I take great pride with the fact that in your free agency year I used to say to you “Please think about the Yankees.” Do you remember that?

C.C.: Yeah, of course!

Ray: “Please think about the Yankees, it would be a great time.” How do you feel about my premonition?

C.C.: It worked out. Even in 2008 when I was getting traded we talked. I wanted to go through that free agency process and just make sure I checked all those boxes off and was able to still come here. It’s been a great deal.

Ray: I’ve been here 46 years. I’ve seen it all whether it was Munson, Pinella, Reggie; you have taken the whole thing of being off the field, children, helping, from the heart, where did that come from?

C.C.: I think it was something that I was born with. When I was a kid I got to meet Dave Stewart when I was 9-years old and the impact that had on my life made me want to give back to kids. If I can have that affect on one kid in the Bronx or in California, it’s all worth it. For me meeting Dave Stewart at 9-years old gave me the incentive to start a Foundation and do all of these things across the country. If one kid can see that and start his own Foundation and do those things, it’s all worth it.

Ray: What you did on the field helped you become that much greater off the field. Kids that will become grown men will never forget the legend of C.C. Sabathia, because you started helping a lot of these kids when they were 8, 10, 12, 15, and now they are 25 and 30. How do you feel about how you helped some of these kids grow up?

C.C.: Yeah it’s amazing. Especially when I get a chance to see some of those scholarships we give out and see those kids graduate college and come back and help my community in Vallejo, and different things between helping the community in the Bronx and the Boys and Girls Club, it’s a great thing. It’s a way to leave my legacy and leave my name.

Ray: Everywhere I go throughout New York, first question that comes out of these kids’ mouths, “do you know CC Sabathia?” And I am proud to be able to say that I know you. And I just want to be able to say to all people that we have to thank you for your kindness, your generosity, and always treating me a regular kid from these streets with class and dignity, you never big-leagued me and I am eternally grateful for that.

C.C.: I have to say thank you too. Meeting you at 19 years old made a big impact on me in my life in those Indian years I never forget, so I have to say thank you.

Ray: It’s been a great honor and thank you for the great compliment.

C.C.: Thanks.

Ray Negron is a sports executive with over 40 years of experience in baseball. His first job came from a chance encounter with George Steinbrenner as a youth. He has become an American film producer, a best-selling author, and a philanthropist. His memoir is entitled, “Yankee Miracles: Life with the Boss and the Bronx Bombers.” For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

Negron: Keeping the Boss’ Empire Alive

When the great George M. Steinbrenner passed away in July of 2010, I felt like my world was crushed. The man that had literally given me a life in the incredible sport of baseball was gone. Through him, I learned that baseball was more than a game. He also taught me that if I believed in myself, there wasn’t anything that I couldn’t do.

One day I was standing in George’s office at the old Yankee Stadium with about 20 of his college buddies. You’re talking about guys that attended Brown University, Yale , Dartmouth, Ohio State …you name it. As these high level individuals were talking about their academic achievements, I felt terribly out of place. At that moment the Boss noticed me just staring down, so all of a sudden, in his thunderous voice, he screamed out ‘Negrón put your head up.’ He then said ‘I know what you’re thinking. Don’t you realize that you went to the greatest University of all?’ At that moment I said to myself ‘what is this madman talking about?’ At that instance he said, ‘You went to the University of Steinbrenner at Yankee Stadium.’ I can honestly say that I wasn’t embarrassed anymore. Even though everyone was laughing, I know that in his heart the Boss meant it. He always tried to make me feel good about myself especially with the fact that when he first got me off the streets, I was dealing with a very bad case of low self esteem.

Throughout the years he let me get involved with different film projects, at times even introducing me to some Hollywood producers that would give me film parts. He even allowed me to get started in writing my children’s books.

The thing that I loved the most was the “bird’s eye” view I got of how he ran the great Yankee Empire. How he loved the magnitude of owning sports’ greatest team. He also talked about how he wanted for the Yankees to be beloved long after he was gone.

In my mind George Steinbrenner would never die because to me he was like a God. Well unfortunately there is only one God and the Boss did die. Next to my parents dying, that, and Thurman Munson dying, was the worst day of my life.

I walked in a daze for a week. I couldn’t imagine the world without the Boss. Remember that I had been around this “Giant” for 37 years. Selfishly I wondered what would happen to me now that he was gone. I actually got into a mental funk. I wondered how the Yankees would keep going. Would everything fall apart?

The thing that I wasn’t aware of was, that in his own way, the Boss was preparing for when he would no longer be there any longer.

In the 1980s he hired an intern from Kentucky that would learn every part of the baseball operations and he would work with all of the Boss’s great baseball people, including Gene Michael. To date, he has become the longest tenured General Manager. That man is Brian Cashman. On a personal note, one of the reasons that I like this man so much is when he first came to work for the Yankees, he wasn’t afraid to live in the south Bronx.

In 1963, there was a Stadium vendor selling hot chocolate and god knows what else. He was a kid that came from East New York in Brooklyn. At that time (and to this day) it was the toughest neighborhood in New York. He worked his way through College, got his law degree, went to work for some big time law firms including Shea Gould. He started doing some legal work for the Yankees in 1976 and has been our Chief Operating Officer for over 20 years. He has gone on to do some incredible things for the Yankee brand. His name is Lonn Trost.

Then there is a gentleman who was working for former Mayor Rudy Giuliani from 1997-2000 as the Deputy Mayor for Economic Development, Planning and Administration . This man was also involved with the big labor movement in Major League Baseball. I was told that, in high school, he was a hot shot basketball player. The thing that the Boss told me that he liked about this guy was that he reminded him of himself. The Boss always liked to think of himself as one very tough hombre. And yes ladies and gentlemen he was and so is this man. His name is Randy Levine, the President of the New York Yankees.

For that matter, all three of them can be very tough guys. These guys will not be pushed around. I can honestly say that that is something that the Boss wanted in his top soldiers. The other thing that was very important to the Boss was that these men always do the right thing by the common man. I think they have more than done that. No organization in sports or any business for that matter has done more to help so many people like the Yankees.

In 2005 George Steinbrenner gave me the go ahead to do my first children’s book. It was called ‘The Boy of Steel.’ When I completed that book and was going over the art work, there was one picture missing, one of the Boss.

When my artist did the picture of the Boss, she looked at me and asked me what’s wrong? I said there is something missing. She asked me what it was. I said that the picture would not be complete without The Boss’s three top soldiers from his Empire. I don’t know if it was a premonition or what but that picture won us some book awards and the book went on to become the international children’s book of the year, beating out, I’m proud to say, Gloria Estefan’s great children’s book that year.

With the success of that book, out came the haters. One unnamed person actually said that he wrote the book because he gave me some advice on it, as had others. This angered the Boss so much that he told me to do another book just to show everyone that I wasn’t a fluke. Well I ended up doing three more, one better than the next.

Getting back to the Boss’s three hombres, I can honestly say that the Boss would be so proud at how these men have run the Boss’s Mona Lisa. How they have helped guide the Steinbrenner family well into the 21st century with the advancement of the YES TV Network and all the great entertainment projects including soccer matches and musical concerts.

Like many people, I miss the Boss dearly but I’m blessed to be able to be around the people that refuse to forget the greatness of George M. Steinbrenner. It’s wonderful that they truly help to keep his dream alive.