One former Yankee batboy honored another Sunday at the Argyle Theater in Babylon.
At the premiere of his play “Batboy: A Yankee Miracle,” Ray Negron recognized Suffolk County Sheriff Errol Toulon Jr. for being the first African-American named to his position.
“I didn’t expect this,” said Toulon, who as a teenager in the South Bronx worked as batboy for the Yankees. I was just coming when he first told me” about the play. “But he wanted to honor me for my accomplishments.”
The play, which is dedicated to law enforcement, is about a young boy who learns to laugh and cry with his heroes. Students from Oceanside High School starred in the one-day performance.
It’s based on the life of Negron, who was caught spray-painting the outside of Yankee Stadium by then team owner George Steinbrenner. Instead of having Negron arrested, Steinbrenner hired him as a batboy during the 1970s “Bronx Zoo” Yankees era.
The play tells of Negron’s experience growing up and living his dream.
Negron was a batboy for the Yankees seven or eight years prior to Toulon, but was still working in the clubhouse when they met.
Toulon, who was elected Suffolk sheriff in November, and the Silver Shield Foundation, an organization founded by Steinbrenner that helps pay for the education of children of fallen police officers and firefighters, were recognized at the premiere.
“You’re talking about a guy that’s a great person; a guy who has battled cancer,” Negron said of Toulon, who has survived two bouts with cancer — lymphoma in 1996 and pancreatic in 2004.
Toulon said working for the Yankees helped shape his personal life and career.
“It was a great experience being with the Yankees,” the sheriff said. “I really learned a lot about professionalism, integrity and also how to do things the right way.”
Some who attended said the honor was in good spirit.
“It’s a nice honor and positive message,” said Rockville Centre resident Kelly Carney. “I think law enforcement should be respected and honored.”