I don't even know how to properly express my complete gratitude and happiness about today. Having the Yankees honor Steven was something I've wanted since his passing. I wanted a type of acknowledge -- his name on the board at Yankees stadium, a small get together for his friends and I, a player signed baseball. Anything. I wanted just to know that they were listening. I wanted to see his name among his heroes as his dying wish.
Since Steven was so passionate about his sports teams, his dad and I always talked about how awesome it would be to include all of them in his memorial. He was a Devils fan - I had a brick for him put in at the Prudential Center. He used to work for the Bowie Baysox - They had a memorial game for him last April. I knew that I HAD to get the Yankees involved but it was nearly impossible. They must receive so many requests everyday for this type of thing. I exhausted all my Yankees connections.
Steven's birthday was this past week (2/28). I texted his dad to let him know that I was thinking about him. His response back was "One of the things that I thought about was how lucky Steven was to meet you and have you in his life. I'm looking forward to your visit. This Saturday I'm going to the first Spring Training game in Clearwater, the Yankees are coming to play the Phillies. I am making a sign - please remember Steven Smith and putting some of his Yankee photos on it." I told him that it was a really nice idea, that I was the lucky one to have met Steven and that I hoped someone took notice.
Luckily, someone did.
Hearing the pure elation and joy in his dad's voice when he called me would've made anyone feel good. It means more to his parents than I ever could blog about.
A lot of people had said to me that it's crazy all the things I was able to accomplish in his memory. The only answer I have is that I wouldn't have been able to accomplish anything if Steven wasn't as personable, friendly, knowledgeable, likable and as generous as he was. Steven was so unique and had so much talent. Other people just do not compare. It is hard to deny that he truly was one in a million. The stories I've heard about him since his passing only make my love for him even stronger.
Having the Yankees recognize Steven was the greatest thing that I could've ever asked for. I literally cannot even wrap my head around how thoughtful and amazing it all is.
Even though I'm a Mets fan, I have to show my love for the pinstripes <3