Bernie Williams surprises Sandy victims

May 22, 2013 3:19:36 PM PDT
Former New York Yankees player Bernie Williams surprised a high school student and his family who lost everything in Superstorm Sandy.

For Michael Odeh, just hanging out with Bernie Williams is as good as an aspiring baseball players' life can get.

Just how the former Yankees star and one of baseball's greats came to meet Michael and his family, which is sometimes emotional, is not as important as why they came together.

"I lost my baseball bats. I lost my gloves. I lost my batting cloves. I lost my cleats, two pair. I lost my under armor. I lost everything," said Michael Odeh, a student.

Everything was stored when Sandy's floodwaters filled the family's home.

Even now, as the Odeh's continue a difficult rebuilding; a reassuring hand is most helpful.

"We obviously have to get together to see how we can help the people who are in need, that's exactly why I'm here," said Bernie Williams, a former Yankees player.

He also signed a few mementos, one which had special meaning.

"I found a box of Reggie Jackson baseballs. Ah, thank you so much," Williams said.

"This is the Reggie Jackson," Eyewitness News reporter Tim Fleischer asked, "Do you know how valuable this ball is?"

"Yeah," Odeh said.

"This is special," Fleischer said.

As Michael and Bernie settled into a little private time, Eyewitness News learned the family like hundreds of others is still in need of help from the Bergen County Long Term Recovery Committee.

"It was a great thing for Bernie Williams to come out and give the boy a special moment, some attention, and a little bit of hope," said Lisa Ewart, case manager.

"It gave me support. Knowing that somebody will help me get better and improve and to get a higher level," Odeh said.

"There are still people still in the process of getting their things together and getting their life back together so we still have to go back and make sure these people are doing fine as well," Williams said.