Last night, Mariano Rivera was honored with a Lou Gehrig Sports Award at the 19th Annual ALS Benefit Dinner. Other fellow honorees were invited for their contributions to the sports world (all are former athletes in various professional sports) and to their communities. Rivera spoke candidly about the heroes in the room — those that are fighting for their lives as they battle ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), the same disease that took Lou Gehrig’s life 72 years ago. The fundraiser dinner and silent auction raised over $1,000,000 for research to find a cure. Like Rivera said in his acceptance speech, “I mean that when I say one of the greatest — one of the finest men who played this game with dignity and loyalty, and [Lou Gehrig] was taken with this disease. He lost his life to this, but his fighting spirit is in us. That’s why you guys are here — to give back and stay strong and help to defeat this disease that has taken so many lives. I know — I’m sure — that we’re going to find a cure for this disease.”
Also, on the Friday before the Winter Meetings, the Yankees are going strong into next weeks discussions with an intact coaching staff, having re-signed every coach from previous seasons — Mike Harkey (bullpen), Mick Kelleher (1st base), Kevin Long (hitting), Tony Pena (bench), Larry Rothschild (pitching), and Rob Thomson (3rd base). You can read the Yankees entire press release here, which includes each coach’s history in baseball and with the Yankees.
I have to admit a favorite “downtime moment” during a game is watching how the coaching staff works together. Unlike some other “micro-managers”, Girardi allows his staff to do what they do best with minimal oversight. Having worked for both micro-managers and then (shall we say) better managers, there is something that just functions better when the boss trusts you to do your job. I mean, you know that he’ll be there to correct if need be, but he trusts that you are going to do your best so that he can focus on doing his job. Having spent a lot of time in ball parks growing up, you get a sense on how each manager likes to function pretty quickly. Here’s how you can tell: who stands next to him during the game and what his base coaches are doing both in the dugout and on the field. Let’s just say, a Yankees’ dugout is a well-oiled machine.
And finally, CC and Amber Sabathia are hosting their annual CC Challenge Fundraiser this weekend. Beginning with a fun rules party and red carpet event tonight, the main event tomorrow is a city-wide scavenger hunt around the city. All proceeds go to the Sabathia’s PitCCh In Foundation which supports charities and organizations in the Sabathias’ hometown in California and in their new hometown of the Greater New York area. You can find out more about PitCCh in and their projects on their website.
This weekend, take some time to give back to some charity or organization in your area or perhaps something you are passionate about. In this month leading up to Thanksgiving, it’s always a good idea to continue to think about others and do something to give back. It’s amazing how full your life can be just by taking the time for someone else.