YORKTOWN, N.Y. - Yorktown police officers better get their radar guns ready.
Dwight “Doc” Gooden, who struck out nearly 2,300 batters during his storied baseball career, will toe the rubber against Yorktown’s Finest on Saturday, June 8, in a charity baseball game at the Granite Knolls Sports Complex.
The annual “Kids vs. Cops” match-up, now in its fourth year, pits the 11U Yorktown Sluggers against members of the Yorktown Police Department. Last year, the kids outslugged the cops en route to an 11-7 win.
Looking to ensure another victory, the kids are bringing in a reinforcement in the form of Doc Gooden, who won a Cy Young Award and a World Series championship with the New York Mets. He later won two championships and threw a no-hitter with the New York Yankees.
“He’s going to pitch a couple of innings for the Sluggers,” said Sergio Esposito, who organizes the event every year with Dr. Rodd Stein. Heather Marazita, a friend of Stein’s, “made the connection” with Gooden and invited him to the game, Esposito added.
Money raised at the game will send Yorktown children to Camp Sunshine, a facility in Casco, Maine, that provides a year-round retreat for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. Esposito said it costs about $2,500 to send one child and their family to the camp for a week.
Last year, enough money was raised to send four kids to Camp Sunshine.
Esposito, who is also president of the Yorktown Chamber of Commerce, said free vendor spots are being offered for businesses in the community, but they will be filled on a first come, first served basis (Chamber of Commerce: 914-245-4599, firstname.lastname@example.org).
There will also be a barbecue, light refreshments and music.
For their time and efforts, Esposito thanked Police Officer Don Peters, representative of the Yorktown Police Benevolent Association; Police Officer Anthony Dipietrantonio, who helped coordinate the game; and Police Chief Robert Noble, “who has engaged our community in an unprecedented way,” Esposito said.