Reese Marquis, 7, runs the bases with Scooter the Holy Cow as the Staten Island Yankees cheer her on Saturday night at the Richmond County Bank Ballpark.
A 7-year-old girl stole the show, not to mention many hearts, Saturday night at the Richmond County Bank Ballpark.
The Brooklyn Cyclones topped the Staten Island Yankees, 3-2, on a night when New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano made a cameo appearance, but it was the story of precocious Reese Marquis that drew the loudest applause from a New York-Penn League crowd of 4,888 in St. George.
The daughter of San Diego Padres pitcher and Prince’s Bay resident Jason Marquis survived a life-threatening bicycle accident in April in which she was raced to Staten Island University Hospital for surgery for massive internal bleeding caused by trauma to her liver.
Reese Marquis spent 16 days at the hospital while enduring multiple procedures to repair liver damage and eventually needed 10 blood transfusions.
Jason Marquis and his family were invited onto the field prior to the fourth inning as the Staten Island Yankees and Staten Island University Hospital honored the youngster as the season’s “Home Run for Life” recipient. Players from each team stood on their respective base lines as the story was told, and Reese Marquis finished the ceremony by sprinting around the bases with team mascot Scooter the Holy Cow.
“The doctors at the hospital made our experience fantastic not only by saving her life, but showing care and compassion,” said Marquis, a 13-year big-league veteran and Tottenville HS product who currently is on the disabled list with a fractured left wrist. “I’ve always tried to have a grasp on life even before the crisis, but when something like this happens, it reinforces your realization that the most important things in life are family and friends.”
Former Staten Island Yankee Robinson Cano and 8-year-old Todt Hill resident Riyad Hajdari soak in the applause before the game. Riyad excelled as part of the Staten Island Yankees' School Fundraising Program.
Staten Island Yankees manager Justin Pope handed Marquis a team bat and embraced the pitcher at home plate as players from both sides congratulated the family.
“It’s a special night,” said Marquis. “I know my daughter and my family appreciate it. She had a blast out there and for players to take that much time out of a game, I can’t thank everybody in the Staten Island community enough.”
While the large Marquis entourage — including wife Debbie, 5-year-old son Andrew and 2-year-old daughter Alexis — watched the game from a suite, Cano had departed by the opening pitch.
He signed autographs for youngsters who excelled as part of the Staten Island Yankees’ School Fundraising Program, and posed for pictures with 8-year-old winner Riyad Hajdari of Todt Hill on the field prior to the game.
“I remember playing here when I was 18 and again the next season at 19,” said Cano in a stadium elevator as he was escorted from a suite to the field. “I loved playing here.”
Cano hit a home run earlier in the day as the Yankees edged the Orioles, 4-3, and as far as Staten Island Yankees President Jane Rogers was concerned the ex-Baby Bomber hit another one out of the park by showing up in St. George.
“We have a wonderful friendship,” said Rogers. “He’s always been a fan favorite.”
NOTES: Trailing 3-0 heading into the bottom of the ninth, Staten Island rallied for two runs as Greg Bird and Matt Duran opened with doubles and Daniel Lopez had a two-run single. But with the tying run at third, John Mincone came out of the Brooklyn bullpen to record a strikeout and pop fly to earn his sixth save ... Wyoming product Brandon Nimmo gave the Cyclones a 1-0 lead with a solo home run — his sixth — in the third inning ... The rivals conclude their season series Sunday (4 p.m.) in Coney Island before the Yankees close the season with a three-game set against the visiting Connecticut Tigers beginning Monday night.