LIVINGSTON, NJ — Former Major League Baseball player and manager Bobby Valentine was the featured speaker at Temple B’nai Abraham’s Annual Sports Breakfast on Sunday, Jan. 31, where he spent the morning with fans and families.

The 65-year-old veteran discussed some of the highlights of his career. When asked about his favorite players, Valentine replied, “Rickey Henderson was interesting. Since he didn’t do signs, our only signal for him to steal was clapping.” 

Valentine also compared today’s game to the era he played in as well as during his managerial career.

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Another major highlight of Valentine’s career was the famous “Moustache Incident.” After Valentine was thrown out of a Mets game for arguing with an umpire, he came back in disguise. Unfortunately for him, TV cameras caught him, and he received a three-game suspension.

“Bobby Valentine is a very inspiring speaker and had a great career in baseball. It’s very interesting to hear his stories,” said temple member Christine Strassman of West Orange.

In conclusion, Valentine talked about his own “Three R’s” of Success: Responsibility, Respect and Reality. 

“Get your responsibilities done, and you’ll become responsible for your friends, family, and your community,” he said. “You become responsible through your accomplishments.”

“‘Respect’ is a reflective word,” he added. “The more you give it, the more you get it. Most importantly, you have to respect yourself. You do this by making good decisions—and therefore people will respect you too.”

“‘Reality’ is a weird word, but everyone has something they’re great at, and you make that your reality,” he said. “Not everyone can hit homeruns, but there are other people who have to steal bases, catch, pitch, and that’s just as important. You make your own talent your reality, and that will make you very valuable in this country. Put your stamp on your talent, and make that your reality.”

After speaking, Valentine signed autographs and posed for pictures with the attendees.

This annual event has taken place for more than 35 years, according to Men’s Club member Andy Sonnenberg. Past speakers have included New York Giants players, broadcasters and retired players, such as the late Yogi Berra.

On Sunday, Bobby Valentine’s charisma and enthusiasm continued that tradition.

Josh Baker is a student at West Orange High School participating in a journalism program with TAPinto.net