A Coach For Disabled Young Adults
Nov 07, 2012Posted by james

Do you remember John Doherty? He pitched for the Detroit Tigers and Boston Red Sox from 1992 to 1996. A knee injury ended his professional career, but the baseball in his blood continues to find him on the diamond.

During one day this past summer, he offered his skills and patience to a group of developmentally disabled young adults from the Cardinal McCloskey Services program in Westchester County. Along with his old Eastchester High School coach, Dom Cecere, Doherty loaded bats, balls and hitting tees into a car and drove to a field to meet an enthusiastic group of young players.

The morning was dedicated to a skill session that included basic drills. Doherty and Cecere ran the clinic the same way for this special needs group as they would have organized it for regular little leaguers.

Doherty grew up in the shadows of the old Yankee Stadium before his family moved to Westchester. He enjoyed many years of success on the ball field right up to the major leagues, and his generosity was a big part of his game.

When Doherty was with the Tigers, his manager (Sparky Anderson) sent him to speak at a Drug Abuse Resistance Education program. That may have been when the baseball and public service connection started for Doherty.

Since that time, Doherty has participated on boards of many organizations, including the Eastchester School Foundation and the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association. He has been a Muscular Dystrophy Association Muscle Team member and he has been involved with Miracle League baseball, which engages children and adults with severe disabilities.

After meeting Doherty, the people at McCloskey consider him a real professional, and not just as a baseball player. Possibly everything he learned about life started on the ball field. Now, that experience has taken him so much farther and it has touched many along the way.


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