Hank Steinbrenner program has given youngsters a ‘chance’

Hank Steinbrenner program has given youngsters a ‘chance’

While Hank Steinbrenner took a backseat to his brother, Hal, when it came to running the Yankees for much of the last decade, he continued his involvement with Hank’s Yanks, the non-profit youth baseball organization he helped found in 2009.

Hank Steinbrenner, a general partner and co-chairperson of the Yankees who died Tuesday at 63, supported the organization that allowed teenagers from a diverse set of backgrounds in and around the city to play baseball, travel and be involved in community outreach.

“It’s good to get guys like this who need a chance to do something good,’’ Steinbrenner said of the program in 2010. “It’s more than just baseball. It’s character and what it means to have character.”

The amateur program was close to Steinbrenner’s heart, according to Ray Negron, the Yankees’ community consultant, who worked closely with Hank on Hank’s Yanks.

“He just wanted to take care of these underprivileged kids,’’ Negron said. “These kids would have never gotten a chance if it weren’t for him. For them to see one of the owners of the New York Yankees take an interest in them made all the difference.”

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