Tampa, Florida — If you have cheered for one team for 60 years, you’ve earned a road trip to watch them play. Usually that road trip includes a car but Richard Albero has opted to make the journey on foot.
“I’m crazy,” he said with a chuckle Monday morning.
The 65-year-old die-hard Yankees fan started his journey at 10 a.m. The former Navy officer stepped on home plate at Steinbrenner Field and headed north toward New York City. He expects to complete the 1,242-mile trek around Memorial Day.
“I don’t know if I could do it. Here I am 26, and my 65-year-old father is about to make this trek of 1,200 miles. Couldn’t be happier for him,” said his son Dante Albero.
The trip is two-fold: to honor Richard’s nephew, Gary, who was killed in the terrorist attacks on New York City on September 11, 2001, and to raise money for the Wounded Warrior Project. His goal is to raise $25,000 on this trip.
“(Gary) and I used to go to all the Yankees games a lot together,” said Richard. “I now have to do the 1,200 miles. So, reality has hit. But, I’m excited. It’s the first time I’m really getting excited.”
Richard has dedicated each mile to a different Yankee player. 1,649 men have worn New York’s pinstriped uniform since the team first began calling itself the Yankees in 1913.
Even current Yankees are impressed with Richard’s journey.
“I don’t want to hear anyone complaining about conditioning,” manager Joe Girardi said to jokingly to his players before presenting Richard with a Yankees hat a shirt to wear on his trip.
The Yankees face the Kansas City Royals at 1:05 p.m. on Memorial Day in the Bronx, NY. Richard plans to be there but doesn’t have tickets, yet. His goal is to walk 10-20 miles per day. His family and friends will drive alongside him for support.
By, Bobby Lewis