Eric LeGrand did some pitching before he stopped playing baseball altogether and concentrating on football. He said he threw a fastball, curve, change and splitter. But he really liked playing centerfield.
The Rutgers football player is now a member of the media, working on the team's radio broadcasts, but he is at Yankee Stadium today as a fan. On the field in his specially equipped wheelchair, he was all smiles as he spoke of his hopes to accelerate his rehab and gearing up to walking again. He was especially upbeat when he spoke of his favorite player, Bernie Williams.
LeGrand liked the way Williams played, and considered him an inspiration. Thus, his affinity for centerfield. He wasn't a switch-hitter like Williams, but he did bat cleanup, as Bernie often did.
"Forty-seven career home runs, from the time I was 11 until I was 14," LeGrand said.
Players stopped by to chat with him on the field before the game, which he was planning to watch with his family in a suite. "I'm truly blessed," he said of the invitation.
He is just as grateful to be getting a jump on his career in broadcasting by working on Rutgers broadcasts. LeGrand made his debut in the opener against North Carolina Central Thursday.
"It wasn’t that bad. I thought I’d be more nervous because I was always thinking of cameras on me. But there were no cameras. I just sat there in the booth, talking about football," he said.