His act was a singular display of generosity and altruism – and in this one unheralded moment, Alex Rodriguez displayed the stuff that real heroes are made of.
A-Rod had heard about the plight of 12-year-old Steven Domalewski, the Wayne, N.J., baseball player who was in a coma after a line drive struck his chest.
He had heard that the Yankees were Steven’s favorite team, and he was his favorite player.
A-Rod had resolved to do something for Steven, anything he could.
So after he hit a walkoff home run against the Atlanta Braves last week, Rodriguez summoned the Yankees’ public relations team.
“Where’s that number?” the All-Star asked.
A-Rod then phoned Steven’s father, Kearny schoolteacher Joe Domalewski, and asked to speak to the boy, who has defied the odds by answering neurologists’ requests for him to blink, wiggle his toes, and open his mouth – but has not yet fully awoken.
“It’s a sad story. I just heard about it through the grapevine,” A-Rod told the Daily News yesterday, hours before the Yanks faced the Cleveland Indians.
“I talked to his father for like 10 minutes,” A-Rod recalled. “He didn’t believe it was me on the phone at first.”
There were no fans watching him, no one to applaud his late-night heroics – just an appreciative father and a 12-year-old boy who, at some level, did seem aware of the call.
“I told Steven about A-Rod phoning his dad last night when I visited,” his aunt, Marie Fullerton, told The News yesterday. “And he responded! His eyes got really wide, like, ‘Huh?!'”
Steven’s family is trying to coordinate another phone call from A-Rod directly to Steven’s hospital room. The plan is to have Rodriguez talk to Steven through a speakerphone.
Of course, had Derek Jeter been involved, the ball never would have hit little Steven in the first place. Jeter would’ve risked his own life and limb with a diving, face-mangling catch that would’ve prevented this tragedy in the first place. That’s what being a real Yankee is all about.