Sports

Believe: Rutgers Teammates' Bond Makes Major League News

d92d57d03a971326dbee_s111006_01-eric-pg-horizontal.JPG
Eric LeGrand Credits: Cynthia Cumming
58d1093519e416305b87_Believe.jpg
Credits: MLBshop.com
d92d57d03a971326dbee_s111006_01-eric-pg-horizontal.JPG

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ — While you watched this weekend's Major League Players' weekend games, you were probably taken aback by garish uniforms and nicknames on the back of the players' uniforms. Nicknames that were usually shortened version of last names, first names, childhood nicknames, some in English, some in Spanish. 

Cincinnati Reds utility player Patrick Kivlehan, a former Rutgers football and baseball player, choose something different for his jersey,  He choose to wear the slogan "Believe" on his jersey to honor a former Rutgers teammate, and close friend, Eric LeGrand, who was paralyzed on the football field several years ago while playing for Rutgers in Giants Stadium.   

Few sports fans in New Jersey can forget the horrific collision that left LeGrand a quadriplegic . In October 2010, LeGrand, a defensive tackle, was paralyzed during a game against Army. Doctors didn't think he'd wake up again—yet he did, and he also regained movement in certain parts of his body.

Sign Up for E-News

On August 22, LeGrand surprised Kivlehan on MLB Network's "The Rundown" TV show, which Kivlehan was a guest.  LeGrand shocked his former teammate, who tuned in through a livestream from the ballpark to find LeGrand on the other end, in the network's Secaucus studio.

LeGrand had told Kivlehan that he was slated to appear on the network next week. Instead, he thanked his pal and reminisced about their time at Rutgers, right down to their “FIFA” video game rivalry in their college dorm. 

“When he said he was going to use my name and slogan, 'bELieve,' I was like, 'That's an awesome idea, Kiv,'” LeGrand said. “I really do appreciate that.”

When LeGrand was in high school, the word “Believe” was posted above the locker room door. He patted the “E” and “L” before each game, a nod to his initials, he said yesterday.

After his brutal injury, another Rutgers teammate told that story to then-coach Greg Schiano, LeGrand said. The leader eventually reminded his player that he must continue to believe and have faith. Since then, LeGrand has become a major player in the fight against spinal cord injuries. Using the slogan “bELieve,” he said, he has raised $875,000 for the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, which hopes to cure spinal cord injuries and improve the lives of people with paralysis.

So when Kivlehan couldn't think of a nickname, he said, he spoke with two former Rutgers teammates. One of those conversations birthed the idea to rock LeGrand's slogan, Kivlehan told MLB Network co-hosts Kelly Nash and Scott Braun.

“I knew right away once he gave the idea that that's what I wanted to do,” Kivlehan, who played just one season of baseball at Rutgers before being drafted to the pros, said. “I still remember the hit and the aftermath. We struggled afterwards, but Eric was always with us and still is.”

“It took off from there,” LeGrand said.

And now, he and Kivlehan hope, it'll take off even further.

For more information on LeGrand and his charitable efforts, click here.

TAPinto Hasbrouck Heights/Wood-Ridge/Teterboro is Hasbrouck Heights, Wood-Ridge and Teterboro’s free daily news source.

Subscribe for free daily eNews delivered to your inbox.  Follow us on Facebook and on Twitter.  (@HHeightsWRidgeT)  Live on your phone?  Then download the TAPinto App!   Click here for Android.  Click here for iOS.

Want to let us know what you think? Send a Letter to the Editor

We are never more than a click away.

 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Hasbrouck Heights/Wood-Ridge/Teterboro

First Summer Weekend Entertainment Lineup for Long Beach Island and Stafford

June 23, 2018

LONG BEACH ISLAND – Here we are, it is the first "official" summer weekend.  This is this rundown on this weekend's entertainment lineup for Stafford and Long Beach.

Remember to be safe and use Uber or Lyft while out in the evenings.

 

Arlington, 1302 Long Beach Boulevard, Ship Bottom   

Matt Fisher, Friday 8 p.m.
Greg Warren, Sunday 6 ...

Belmar’s Shark River Channels Now at Full Depth for Start of Boating Season

BELMAR, NJ — With the start of the prime boating season, all navigable Shark River channels are now at full depth and width — some for the first time in more than 30 years, according to state transportation officials.

The N.J. Department of Transportation (DOT) recently announced that all dredging work has been completed, making it easier and safer for commercial and recreational ...

State Transportation Officials: New Bridge, Same Design Planned over Shark River Linking Belmar and Avon

BELMAR, NJ — State transportation officials confirmed yesterday that the Main Street/Route 71 bridge over the Shark River will be replaced with one just like it — a low-level movable span that will stand several feet taller and will be situated about three feet west of the current bridge.

During the second public information session on the project held on June 7, N.J. Department of ...

Bergen County Prosecutor Requests Public Assistance in Englewood Hit-and-Run

June 20, 2018

HACKENSACK, NJ - The Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office and the Englewood Police Department are requesting information from the public regarding a hit-and-run collision which resulted in a pedestrian sustaining serious injuries, per a media release Tuesday morning.  The vehicle fled the scene traveling northbound on Knickerbocker Road towards Tenafly.

The ongoing investigation ...

Garden State Plaza Retailers to Donate Portion of Proceeds Wednesday to Victims of East Brook Middle School Crash

PARAMUS, NJ -- Over a dozen retailers at the Westfield Garden State Plaza have pledged to donate commission from sales Wednesday, June 20 to the support the victims of the fatal East Brook Middle School bus accident last month. 

12 stores located in the biggest mall in Paramus have pledged to donate 10% of sales made on Wednesday to the cause. These retailers are: ...

Thank You from the HHPTSA Dance Committee

June 19, 2018

I would like to give a special THANK YOU to the following local businesses for their generous donations for the Hasbrouck Heights PTSA 8th Grade Formal. Without these generous donations, this formal would not have been possible nor a huge success. So THANK YOU to.......

Heights Pizza

Corleones

Loveys

Anthony Bagels

Costa Funeral Home

Hennessy-Heights Funeral Home

Dr.

Teen-involved Crashes Kill 10 People a Day Between Now and Labor Day

June 24, 2018

FLORHAM PARK, NJ - More than 1,050 people were killed in crashes involving a teen driver during the, the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day in 2016. AAA reports that the average of 10 people per day is a 14 percent increase compared to the rest of the year.

As school lets out for the summer, AAA stresses the importance of preparing and educating inexperienced teen drivers for ...

VIDEO: Westfield Police Show Love for Fallen Detective’s Son at Middle School Graduation

ROSELLE PARK, NJ — When his dad, a Westfield police detective who died last month, couldn’t be at young Eric Lieberman’s eighth grade graduation from Roselle Park Middle School, 16 members of the Westfield Police Department instead walked across the stage to give him a hug Tuesday night.

“What a beautiful tribute to both my son and his father,” said his ...

Sports Betting Is Off And Running in New Jersey

OCEANPORT, NJ — Governor Phil Murphy officially ushered in sports betting in New Jersey when he made the initial wager at Monmouth Park  on June 14.

Governor Murphy, an avid soccer fan who has called ESPN’s “Sportscenter” his favorite show, placed the first bet  — $20 on Germany to win the World Cup. He also bet $20 on the N.J. Devils to ...

Governor Murphy Signs Sports Betting Legislation

TRENTON, N.J. — Operators of Monmouth Park and other race tracks have been champing at the bit to start accepting bets on sports other than its own horse racing.

The track is one step closer to doing so as on June 11, Gov. Phil Murphy signed Assembly Bill 4111, allowing sports betting at New Jersey casinos and racetracks for certain professional and collegiate sports or athletic ...

Cool Ways to Save Money This Summer

As the summer temperatures rise, home cooling costs rise as well. But there are ways to help save money without sweating the heat:

To increase your cooling system’s efficiency by as much as 20%, get it checked out for summer.  A technician will clean the condenser, make sure you have the optimal amount of refrigerant, and ensure the airflow over the coil is ...