Wish Stories

Alba Gets Back Out to the Ball Game

With the bright sun overhead, imagine a green sea of grass so fresh that you can smell it. Then, the sharp crack of the bat—and the crowd cheers wildly from the stands!

For a true baseball fan, nothing quite compares to the joy of being at a game. And for Alba, absolutely nothing beats a Yankees game.

Alba has been a Yankees fan for almost as long as she can remember. Growing up in New York City, her true passion for the sport emerged when she was a teenager. Alba’s brother Gus took her to her first game, and she’s been completely hooked on the Yankees ever since—so much that she’s never missed a game!

If you met Alba, she would tell you about a beautiful Sunday in 1999 when she and her sister Vera headed to the Bronx to watch the Yankees face the Montreal Expos. As they found their seats in the stands, little did they know they were about to witness a perfect game. Thanks to pitcher David Cone, the no-hit game was the third ever for the team—and the very first interleague no-hitter (a record that still stands today!). It was a day they’ll never forget, and it was the last time Alba had been to the original Yankee Stadium, or “The House that Ruth Built.”

Alba and Vera pose with Mickey Mouse statue inside Yankee Stadium
Yankee stadium hot dog
Alba smiles in Yankees mask in front of field

Even though it’s been over two decades, Alba’s love for the game has never faded. Her friends at the senior living facility in Connecticut where she resides can attest that if there’s a Yankees game on, you won’t be seeing Alba anywhere other than in front of the TV—even if it’s a rerun!

That’s because watching the Yankees has been a constant thread in Alba’s life. She’s watched them go through wins and losses, and they’ve seen her through the highs and lows of her own life, too.

Alba has lived a full and interesting life, one that had its own challenges and losses. Her parents were Italian immigrants, and her family grew up in a poor Italian community in New York City. Having lived through World War II, Alba and her siblings Gus, Claude, and Vera learned from a young age the value of hard work. Alba worked multiple jobs while going to school to help support her family. Her brother Gus had to leave home to serve in the war, and Alba recalls it as a dark time. She remembers praying for Gus every night until he was safely home again.

Alba grew up to put herself through college and focused on her career in the journalism industry, cultivating her philanthropic efforts and finding ways to give back to others along the way.

Alba and Vera clapping from box seats
Alba & Vera on the Jumbotron

When we heard Alba’s story, Wish of a Lifetime was thrilled to help reconnect her with her life’s passion. And we hoped to make the experience even more memorable by including a special guest.

Due to the pandemic, Alba had not seen her sister Vera since August of 2020. Their reunion was a surprise to Alba, and she was overjoyed.

“I was so surprised to see her!” Alba said. “I think it is wonderful that she got to come.”

On April 18, 2021, we pulled out all the stops for another ball game Alba wouldn’t forget. It was Alba’s first time at the new Yankee Stadium, which opened in 2009. The sisters enjoyed all-star treatment for the game against the Tampa Bay Rays. They had box seats in a private suite, got decked out in Yankee’s gear, and were gifted official Yankee’s memorabilia.

“I had one of those famous hot dogs from Yankee’s stadium,” Alba said. “And I had vanilla ice cream… it was all very nice.”

The only thing sweeter than the ice cream was spending the day with her sister. Vera joked that it was the only time she will ever be in a box seat.

“It was something getting to spend the whole day with her,” Vera said. “It was a long day full of excitement. It was a wonderful surprise.”

Alba could not get the smile off her face. She expressed her gratitude to Wish of a Lifetime and the New York Yankees for her special day.

“I am very thankful that everyone worked so hard to make this a pleasant day. I thank everybody who participated in this to make it a dream come true for me…” Alba said.

“And thank you for being interested in what I say, you make me feel like a celebrity!”

Sisters Alba & Vera smile in front of field

One incredible story at a time, Wish of a Lifetime is changing the perception of aging—not just how we view our oldest citizens but also how we see and value ourselves as we age.

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Learn more about how wishes connect seniors to people, purpose, and passions to eliminate feelings of isolation and help them live vibrant, purposeful lives.

All wish activities are conducted in accordance with CDC, state and local health regulations and may be subject to increased COVID-19 preventative precautions as outlined in WOL’s COVID-19 Policy.

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