MVP Foundation and friends have big night at Yankee Stadium

The MVP Foundation honors David Robertson for the third straight year
06/28/2014 12:07 AM ET
By Lou DiPietro

15-year-old Alex Lin meets Derek Jeter prior to Friday's game thanks to the MVP Foundation.(Dr. Tom Haveron)
For the last three years, Dr. Thomas Haveron and his MVP Foundation have honored New York Yankees closer David Robertson during their annual gala in Trenton, presenting Robertson with a check for his own High Socks For Hope Foundation.

The Yankees' schedule won't allow Robertson to attend this year's event on August 7, so Haveron and two of his foundation's sponsors from the Spine Centers of America came to him; on Friday, Dr. Haveron, along with Spine Centers medical director Dr. Bryan J. Massoud and VP of Operations David Shepard, came to Yankee Stadium to present David with a check for $10,000 prior to the Yankees-Red Sox game and have him meet a very special guest: 15-year-old Alex K. Lin from Taiwan.

"We knew Alex was coming to New York, so Dr. Massoud, David and I felt that coming out and honoring David while bringing Alex here would be a great time," Haveron said of the day.

"Doc's been huge for High Socks For Hope; since we started working with him he's donated a lot of time and money to our cause, and we've been able to turn around and put that into people's houses," Robertson said. "You don't run into too many people who are as generous as him. He's a great guy and I'm glad we have his help."

Lin, who met Dr. Haveron in 2011 at the MLB Taiwan All-Star Series, fulfilled a life-long dream by standing in the new House That Ruth Built, and his journey here is proof of how powerful social media can be in this day and age.

"Doc sat right next to me in the stands (at the All-Star Series) and we've kept in touch via Facebook for the last few years; it's amazing how much social media can connect us," Lin said. "I admire the work Dr. Haveron and the MVP Foundation have done from afar, and it's awesome to be with him."

Like many teenagers, Lin runs a baseball blog in Taiwan and considers Derek Jeter his idol, but he is also a big fan of Masahiro Tanaka, because as he joked, "a lot of people think I'm his doppelganger!"

He didn't get an autograph from Tanaka while he was on the field, but did get Jeter, Robertson, Francisco Cervelli and skipper Joe Girardi to sign their John Hancock's on fresh new baseballs, and both Lin and Haveron got some props from D-Rob as well.

"It was cool that he came all the way here from Taiwan," Robertson said of Lin, "and for Doc to come with him and present me with a $10,000 check, that speaks volumes about his character."

Friday was just the first of a few days this season where Haveron, a life-long Yankees fan himself who also works as the official team chiropractor of the Double-A Trenton Thunder, will get to honor the Bombers; this year's MVP event in Trenton will have a soon-to-be-unveiled special guest that he says "will be a huge treat" for Yankees fans, and his plans for the season's final series include a signature in Derek Jeter's farewell tour guestbook.

"We're going to go up to Boston for the last series, and we hope to be able to present Derek Jeter with a nice check for his Turn 2 Foundation," Haveron said.

Yankees fans may not be so happy to know that the trip to Boston will be courtesy of Red Sox slugger David Ortiz, but as someone who has also worked with Ortiz's foundation extensively throughout the years, Haveron believes the synergy is proof of how what they do goes far beyond baseball.

"David and I have worked together for a long time, so we'll be sitting in the owner's box right next to the dugout," he laughed, "but it shows how everyone works together, despite uniforms or even international borders. Really, it's all about the kids."

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