Al from Brookdale Henderson in Henderson, Texas, has spent his life cheering on the New York Yankees, claiming he knew how to spell the word “Yankee” before “America”! Al’s interest sparked from watching baseball legend, Joe DiMaggio, as he led his team to many victories in the early 1950s. Al said “Joe was so good that he got me stuck on baseball. He made the Yankees so special, and they are still so inspirational.” At the age of 80, Al has yet to attend a Major League Baseball game—his ultimate Wish, win or lose, would be to watch the Yankees take the field.
Al has not only enjoyed watching baseball, but also has loved playing the sport as well. Growing up, Al worked at a local bowling alley. After carefully setting up the bowling pins after each round, he would run outside to practice baseball before setting up the bowling pins again. Halfway through his older adult year of high school, Al joined the Oregon National Guard and became a gunman. Afterwards, Al joined the Air Force in 1954 and served for 22 years. He served in 25 different countries and retired as a Master Sergeant. Having been everywhere, he says he would do it all over again the same way.
Later in life, he got married and started a family— they had three daughters and one son together. Al worked as a high school teacher focusing on various subjects, which eventually led him to become a principal for eighteen years. Al has always stayed very active in church and exercise. As of now, he is 80 years old and still remains in good shape as he explains, “Some people tell me I have the health of a 25 year old!” Serving as such a family man, Al says that he has wanted to see the Yankees play for so long, but time has slipped away from him.
Wish of a Lifetime and Brookdale Senior Living were excited for Al to attend a Yankees versus Astros game with his son-in-law, Scott, on July 25, 2016. Al described the Wish as a “goal of a lifetime” and could not wait to cheer on his favorite team live from Minute Maid Park. After the game, Al said “I felt like I was at home” watching the Yankees. Resident Program Director, Lisa, said, “He smiled from ear to ear the entire time we were at the game. He looked like a child on Christmas morning!” It seems as though Al served as a good luck charm as well—his team reached a 2-1 victory over the Astros!
Photo credit: Alyse French Photography