Wednesday, April 24, 2013


Rivera meets vets and active duty soldiers at The Trop before game v Tampa Bay Rays

4/23/13, Rivera meets with "veterans and active duty soldiers getting treatment at James A. Haley Veterans Hospital" who assembled at the Trop prior to first pitch v the Rays," photo Tampa Bay Rays

St. Petersburg, "Bill Werts spends most of his time at Tropicana Field working in the media dining room or, toward the end of each home game, taking in the final innings from his wheelchair in the press box.

But the 67-year-old Vietnam War veteran, wheelchair-bound because of multiple sclerosis, ventured into the bowels of the stadium early Tuesday evening to join 16 veterans from Tampa's James A. Haley Veterans' Hospital in a small equipment room, where they met with Yankees closer Mariano Rivera for about half an hour. The group included veterans of the Vietnam War, Gulf War, current military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and one man who served in the Army during World War II. "It's amazing. They're sacrificing," Rivera said. "We go on the field to play. They go on the field to defend us, fight for us, give their life for us. We need more things to be done for these people after they finish. We've seen people that are injured. What gets done for them? We need to get more stuff done."

Rivera talked to the assembled crowd, which also included family members and hospital staffers, then answered questions and took pictures with the veterans. He signed a baseball for each of them, with Tuesday's date below his signature."...

Above, Rivera in the 9th in Tampa Bay, 4/23/13, ap. final 4-3 Yankees.

Rivera and Chris Stewart after game, 4/23/13, ap

Two stories: 4/23/13, "Yankees' Mariano Rivera meets with veterans in hospital," NY Daily News

4/23/13, "Rivera takes time to talk with veterans at the Trop,", Adam Berry

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