Saturday, February 7, 2015


(Eve Edelheit for The New York Times)
David Waldstein of the New York Times writes a dynamic piece about our future second baseman... Rob Refsnyder.  The piece is titled On Deck for the Yankees, From South Korea, Rob Refsnyder, and it provides such color about this young man.  He's got heart, he's got spunk and he's got what it takes to one day lead the New York Yankees, like Derek Jeter, like Ron Guidry... like Thurman.  And it started at home, a young boy, adopted and given the opportunity to shine in life by his adopted parents, Jane and Clint Refsnyder.

I was impressed reading this young man's story. In fact, I appreciated Refsnyder alot before reading Waldstein's piece. I'm more impressed now.  I'm taking excerpts from the Times article and posting them on BYB, but be sure you read the whole piece.  Check this out:

" ...Refsnyder is a top Yankees prospect, a gifted hitter who has been invited to his first major league spring training this month and hopes to soon become the team’s starting second baseman. He was adopted from South Korea by parents with German and Irish backgrounds, as was his older sister, Elizabeth, who was a talented softball player in college... In 2012 Refsnyder was selected out of the University of Arizona in the fifth round of the amateur draft — adopted, in a sense, by the Yankees. He raced through the ranks of the minor league system, batting .297 with a .389 on-base percentage and 508 total bases in two and a half seasons, and now provides hope to fans who have been waiting for the Yankees’ farm system to produce the next Robinson Cano or Brett Gardner.

But equally important, with his growing success he can also provide inspiration to millions of adopted children and adults. Refsnyder says he has always been very comfortable with his adoption, but he knows that life can be challenging for some adopted people, especially during the identity-forming years of adolescence...

(Monica Almeida/The New York Times)
Refsnyder was adopted in 1991 when he was a little over 5 months old. He was born in Seoul, South Korea, and given the name Kim Jung-tae. His family does not know the identity of his biological mother; they know only her age and level of education, and Refsnyder harbors no resentment.

'I am sure she did what she felt was best for me, to give me the best opportunities in life,' he said. 'And I feel so blessed. I love my family and I would do anything for them, just like they have for me.'

As the children grew, they exhibited natural athletic ability...When he was 16, Rob earned a place on a United States Junior Olympic team that traveled to Venezuela for a tournament, and was joined there by his father. Local children, upon seeing Refsnyder, wondered why he was not on the Japanese team. That amused him, but for other reasons, he said, the trip changed his life.

'At that age, you’re not thinking about other people so much,' he said. 'Kids in Orange County, Calif., are maybe kind of selfish and spoiled. But I saw some real poverty on that trip, kids with one shoe and stuff like that. It changed me forever.'"

There is plenty more there, but I'm blown away by this guy and it just really opened my eyes about adoption.  His parents raised 2 wonderful kids and gave them huge opportunities.  These days, now a New York Yankee, you can't help but root for this guy more.  What a role model! Not just for the children of South Korea, but for all children.  A man on a mission.  He reeks with life passion.  You gotta love Rob Refsnyder.

Anyway, I hope you check out Waldstein's piece.  Great work David Waldstein.

Good luck Rob.

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