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Old 10-19-2009, 07:26 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Humbled Jim Leyritz back in Bronx, making a buck where he can

Humbled Jim Leyritz back in Bronx, making a buck where he can
by David Lennon

Jim Leyritz, nicknamed "The King" during his glory days with the Yankees, hardly looked like pinstriped royalty in the hours leading up to ALCS Game 2 last night.

Tino Martinez, his former teammate, was scheduled to throw out the ceremonial first pitch, as David Cone did before Friday's Game 1. If not for Leyritz, who smacked one of the most memorable home runs in Yankees history, neither would have a 1996 World Series ring like the one Leyritz wore on his left hand yesterday.

But Leyritz can't get into Yankee Stadium without a ticket now as he awaits his January trial for DUI manslaughter. As the teams took batting practice yesterday, he was seated at a folding table in front of Stan's Sports World under the elevated tracks on River Avenue.

On his left was Mickey Rivers, the other half of the two-man autograph show, and business was pretty good. It needs to be for Leyritz, who made nearly $11 million during his 10-year baseball career but now is struggling to support his three boys and pay significant legal fees.

Leyritz posed for $5 snapshots and charged $25 for a signed photo of his 1996 Game 4 home run against the Braves and up to $40 for an autographed baseball with a personalized message.

Two men - one wearing a No. 42 jersey and the other a No. 2 - eagerly slapped down a wad of bills for the glossy photo of Leyritz watching the flight of his three-run home run off the Braves' Mark Wohlers. The Yankees trailed two games to one in the Series and were down 6-0 after five innings in Game 4, but Leyritz's eighth-inning homer tied the score at 6 in a game the Yankees won in 10 innings, 8-6.

"This was the start of the dynasty," the man said, slamming his hand down on the table. "Right here."

Leyritz smiled, then posed with a couple of kids, letting them hold his World Series ring for the photo. A passing police officer reached out to shake his hand, saying, "Hang in there." Another in an FDNY sweatshirt added, "Be strong." Many did a double-take, surprised that it was actually him.

"I think a lot of people are hesitant because of the situation," Leyritz said. "But I need to pay for the roof over my kids' heads. It's gone on for two years. I haven't been able to work. I haven't been able to do anything. I have custody of my three kids, and I have to provide a house and a home for them. Whatever I can do to make money, that's what I'm doing."

Leyritz went from Yankees legend to shunned outcast in December 2007, when prosecutors in Broward County, Fla., say he ran a red light, allegedly under the influence of alcohol, and crashed into the car of Fredia Veitch, a 30-year-old mother of two, killing her.

Leyritz says he believes recent developments in the case are working in his favor. "There's a lot of things that are happening that slowly picks the case apart," he said.

The fans who stopped by to see Leyritz didn't seem to care either way. He remains frozen in their memories for that World Series homer. There was no mention of his serious legal problems - Leyritz faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted of the charges - other than to wish him luck.

Cardboard signs taped to the steel subway posts advertised that Leyritz was scheduled to appear from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Afterward, he was headed inside the Stadium to watch the game - as a fan.

When asked if it was difficult for him to go from pinstriped legend to paying customer, Leyritz shrugged. "Well, yeah," he said. "I mean a part of that stadium, I feel I had a lot to do with, and that's the tough part. But you know what, compared to what I'm going through personally, and everything else, that's a small thing.

"What happened with me, I'm still looking for the reason. But in the long run, I think I can say things have taken a different step in my life. I'm able to prioritize a little bit differently. That's why I'm here, because I was offered an opportunity to make a little bit of money. I've got to do whatever I can."

Humbled Leyritz back in Bronx, making a buck where he can
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Old 10-19-2009, 07:37 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Yah - its a sad thing - the Leyritz story. But the man put himself in that position so he's got to deal with it just like any of us would.. at least he is doing what he can for his children.
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Old 10-19-2009, 10:53 AM   #3 (permalink)
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This is a sad story. It's even sadder for the mother of two that was killed though. I feel for both families.
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Old 10-19-2009, 11:09 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Leyritz went from Yankees legend to shunned outcast in December 2007, when prosecutors in Broward County, Fla., say he ran a red light, allegedly under the influence of alcohol, and crashed into the car of Fredia Veitch, a 30-year-old mother of two, killing her.

Leyritz says he believes recent developments in the case are working in his favor. "There's a lot of things that are happening that slowly picks the case apart," he said.



Gotta love it. Another "name" trying to buy his way out of killing a "commoner" in the good ol' USA. Guess his lawyer is picking apart the fact she shouldn't have been going through that green light without noticing his drunkass coming towards her
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Old 10-19-2009, 11:52 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BAMBAM View Post
Leyritz went from Yankees legend to shunned outcast in December 2007, when prosecutors in Broward County, Fla., say he ran a red light, allegedly under the influence of alcohol, and crashed into the car of Fredia Veitch, a 30-year-old mother of two, killing her.

Leyritz says he believes recent developments in the case are working in his favor. "There's a lot of things that are happening that slowly picks the case apart," he said.



Gotta love it. Another "name" trying to buy his way out of killing a "commoner" in the good ol' USA. Guess his lawyer is picking apart the fact she shouldn't have been going through that green light without noticing his drunkass coming towards her
you nailed that one.
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