Saturday, April 16, 2016

Ken Whitten & the Yankees Mentor


Ken Whitten is a name that not many outside of the New York Yankees organization may know, I know I didn’t know the name before writing this post, but it is a name that deserves a bit of recognition from the fans. You see Whitten already has the admiration of the team and the organization, many think of him as a mentor in fact, but he like so many don’t get the recognition and attention they deserve most of the time and we here at The Greedy Pinstripes are here to reverse that wrong anytime we physically can.

Let’s start at the beginning, some 40-years ago Whitten had dreams of being a professional baseball player and had dreams of pitching in the big leagues. That door closed while Whitten was pitching for the Eastern Illinois University baseball team but the door was opened once again each spring when Whitten attended spring training camp with the New York Yankees. Whitten was a preacher at a church less than 30 minutes away and was able to forge relationships with players, namely Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera, Joe Girardi, Reggie Jackson, Lou Piniella and Angels slugger Albert Pujols to name a few, which granted him access to the players in spring camps.

Whitten now leads Bible studies with the MLB Yankees and two of his co-workers at Idlewild Church also chaplains for the Tampa Yankees. The Yankees honored Whitten after 25 years with the church by making him into a bobble head in a Yankees uniform and a Bible under his arm, the ultimate treat for a man of God and for a man of baseball, namely the Yankees.


Sometimes even Major League ballplayers need a little spirituality and Whitten is the man leading many MLB players and Yankees players specifically in the right direction. A day after honoring Jackie Robinson for all he did during his playing career and all he did for the league both as a player and as an ambassador for the game I guess I wanted to honor Whitten and others like him in a similar way. 

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