Trenton Thunder Honor Robinson Cano and David Robertson for Charity Work
Added by Matt Kardos on July 27, 2012.
Robinson Cano (L.) and David Robertson were honored by their former club, the Trenton Thunder last night.
The New York Yankees cruise into their weekend duel with the hated Boston Red Sox tied for the best record overall in baseball with the Washington Nationals at 59-39. Much of the Yankees success early on this season has been due large in part to the MVP caliber performance of slugging All-Star second baseman, Robinson Cano, who sports a .319 batting average with 22 home runs and 56 RBI. Perhaps greater than his stellar play on the baseball diamond is his charitable work for the underprivileged children in his home country of the Dominican Republic through the work of his charity, the RC24 Foundation.
The RC24 Foundation was founded in hopes of providing terminally ill children and their families with the rare opportunity to attend Yankee home games while getting the chance to meet the players and receive autographs.
“It’s all about helping kids that really need it,’’ Cano said. “Putting a smile on their face; that is the main thing. I go back there and give the toys away myself. It is something I feel like I have to do. I want to give back.’’
Cano along with Yankees flame throwing set-up man, David Robertson, who has a charity of his own called “Robertson’s High Socks for Hope,” which aids tornado victims in his home state of Alabama, were honored for their charitable efforts at Waterfront Park last night.
David Robertson talks with the media prior to the ceremonies.
Both Cano and Robertson received checks of $25,000 each for their respective foundations from Trenton Thunder team chiropractor and MVP (Medicine Via Philanthropy) Foundation creator Dr. Thomas Haveron in an on-field ceremony prior to last night’s first pitch.
“We went down over Thanksgiving to help out the families,” said Robertson. “They were super excited and it is nice to see the people you are actually helping. Doc Haveron and the MVP Foundation have really helped us a lot and when he asked us to come down here tonight, I was more than happy to do it. To come back for a day like this is really a lot of fun.’’
Cano spent parts of the 2003 and 2004 seasons with the Thunder where he blasted eight homers and drove in 57 runs for a .290 average in 504 at bats. Cano reflects back on his time with Trenton and playing for then Manager, Stump Merrill, and admits that it certainly helped him mature into the premiere talent he has since become.
“There was no doubt in my mind I was going to make it to the big leagues when I was here,” said Cano. “When they moved me up there was never any doubt in my mind that I would make it one day to the big leagues.”
In terms of playing for Merrill, Cano added, “That’s a person that I’ve got respect for forever. That’s a guy that really helped me a lot. I remember one day I slammed my helmet. He told me you never see guys like Jeter or any of those guys slam their helmet in the ground like that, so you’ve just got to be professional and play the game the right way.”
Robinson Cano talks with media at Trenton's Waterfront Park.
When Cano was moving through the Yankees farm system, he was not regarded as a top notch prospect. After being promoted to the Major Leagues in May of 2005 to play second base in favor of the underwhelming Tony Womack, Cano struggled mightily and turned to Manager Joe Torre and the teams veteran leaders for guidance and reassurance that he would make it as a big leaguer.
“I was pretty comfortable when I came up because that was my first year in spring training with the big leaguers so I got to meet all the guys and spend time with the managers and those guys,” explained Cano. “It was about a month later when I got called up. The thing was, I was like 4 for 34 in my first 34 at bats; I was a little scared that I might get sent back down. I want to thank Joe Torre; he pulled me aside and said it would be alright. After that, we went on the road, I think I hit around .105 then we came back for ten games and I was hitting like .390.”
Cano added, “I looked up to a lot of those guys; there are a lot of guys in there that I still follow, that I look up to, like Jeter and A-Rod, Mariano, I always ask them questions even now I still turn to them to see how I can get better.”
Since his early professional years here in Trenton, Cano has transformed himself into one of the most prolific players on the grand stage of the MLB. As arguably the best second baseman the game has to offer and one of the best pure hitters in the modern era, Cano understands that the expectations of producing at a high level consistently are what makes him continue to grow as a player.
“I try not to think too much about it, because, you know what? Sometimes it’s good to hear you’re one of the best, for me, because those are some of the things that make you work even harder because you want to stay at a high level,” said Cano. “You don’t want to be up here one year and the next year be back down again, so for me it’s just about going out there, working hard and making this team win and make it to the World Series and win it again.”
Whether or not the Yankees capture their 28th World Series championship this fall remains to be seen, but one thing is for certain; both Cano and Robertson have already won in a far better cause in bettering the lives of families in their respective communities.