ONLY ON CLIFFVIEW PILOT: New York Yankees Robinson Cano and David Robertson made it their business to present a special award to a terminally ill girl who wanted to meet them tonight, so members of Bergen County PBA Local 49 made it theirs to get both ballplayers to Trenton – via helicopter – in advance of tonight’s suspended Thunder game.
The meeting with the 11-year-old went off without a hitch before what became a suspended game with Harrisburg leading Trenton 3-1 in the bottom of the second.
Bergen County Police Detective John Baker and BCPD Officer Richard Donohue escorted the ball players, who left from the West 30th Street heliport in Manhattan.
“She’s terminally ill but she beat the odds so far,” county Police Chief Brian Higgins told CLIFFVIEW PILOT. “She extended her life and wanted to meet those guys.”
Tom Haveron, the director of the Medicine via Philanthropy (MVP) Foundation, arranged the meeting. Then he contacted the county police seeking help getting the Bronx Bombers to Waterfront Park for the presentation.
The PBA took it from there, providing the helicopter and pilot through a donation and covering both the $2,500 cost of fuel and take-off/landing charges from its own kitty.
Although Cano and Robertson made it on time for the pregame ceremonial first pitches, Major League baseball Players Association guidelines kept them from actually throwing the baseballs.
The former Trenton Thunder standouts also were honored by the MvP Foundation – Cano for his RC 24 Foundation that benefits underprivileged children in his native Dominican Republic, and Robertson, who, with his wife, Erin, founded High Socks for Hope to help those affected by the 2011 tornadoes in his Tuscaloosa, Ala., hometown.
A host of former major leaguers were on hand, as well — including Oscar Gamble, Roy White and Jim Leyritz.
“This is a great opportunity to publicly thank Robertson and Cano for all the work they do for our communities here and elsewhere,” said Haveron, the Thunder’s team chiropractor. “I wanted to host the event in Trenton as a way of thanking the Thunder for allowing me to be part of the team and the greatest baseball family ever.”
Footnote: This was the first time in Thunder history that current Yankees not on rehab assignments visited the park for a game.
Through scholarships and grants, the MvP Foundation’s seeks to enable those in need to receive effective treatment and care. Its charitable partners include:
David Ortiz Children’s Fund
Robinson Cano Charitable Initiatives
Jorge Posada Foundation
Derek Jeter’s Turn 2 Foundation
New York Yankees Foundation
American Diabetes Association
American Cancer Society
Darryl Strawberry Foundation