Pitcher Wang commended for service


Taiwan-born New York Yankees pitcher Chien-Ming Wang was commended in a ceremony in a Bronx borough in New York City Friday for his participation in community services and public interest activities.

The ceremony was organized by Peace, Unity and Hope Inc., a U.S. public-interest group, at a children’s club at Kips Bay near the Yankees Stadium.

Also cited were New York Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman and Adele Smithers,chairman of the Christopher D. Smithers Foundation.

Wang received a citation from Ray Negron, a special aide to Yankees principal owner George Steinbrenner. Negron said Wang has not only emerged as one of the most promising pitchers in the MLB but has also made great contributions to community services.

According to Negron, Wang has never turned down an invitation to take part in public-interest activities. He often visits hospitals to play with ailing children. Earlier this year, Wang attended the groudbreaking ceremony for the Yankees Stadium station on a new metro railway line.

Nearly 400 children from disadvantaged families also attended the citation ceremony and lunched with Wang and other Yankees baseballers.

Wang said he felt honored to receive the citation, adding that he enjoys playing with children. Children from underprivileged families require more concern and help, he added.

At the ceremony, Wang received a surprise gift — a color portrait of him — from James Fiorentino. The noted artist said he spent two days painting the portrait based on Wang’s photo. Fiorentino said he was delighted to present the painting to Wang in person. Praising the painting as a masterpiece, Wang said it’s an invaluable gift for him.

As part of the Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations, the New York Yankees will join with American Airlines, singer Jose Feliciano and Bronx community leaders in sponsoring a Peace, Unity & Hope Concert Sept. 22 to raise funds for charity groups dedicated to helping children in need.