Five years ago, 2004 Sherburne-Earlville graduates Josh Hicks, Chris Young, Matt Doscher, and Tim Mastro found themselves in the right place at the right time – more than one time, in fact.
The stroke of fortune for the S-E contingent, all of whom were standout baseball players in high school, started innocently enough on a weeknight game at Yankee Stadium.
Hicks’ uncle had a client in New York City, and while he was down there, he picked up extra tickets to attend a Yankees baseball game against the Detroit Tigers. The four friends attended the game, and had the idea to grab the attention of television cameras. “Before the game, we painted our chests blue and had an individual letter painted on spelling out ‘Shef,’ short for Gary Sheffield,” Hicks said recalling the game.
In the previous Tigers-Yankees game, Sheffield was beaned by a Tigers pitcher. The Yankees retaliated in the game Hicks and his friends attended hitting Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez with a pitch. Immediately after the retaliation pitch, the television cameras panned the crowd and focused on the four Sherburne-Earlville graduates, who not only had painted-on letters, but were wearing actual chef hats.
“All of the media and camera guys were taking pictures of us,” Hicks recalled. “The next day, our picture was on the front page of the New York Post sports section.”
If a cameo on a Yankees game and a picture on New York tabloid weren’t enough, Hicks and company found out months later that their likeness was being used on the Yankees’ Internet website for a “I Live For This” promotion. The picture of the S-E grads served as inspiration for dedicated fans who wished to enter a contest in which the winner would appear in a Yankees television commercial. The caption under the picture of Hicks, Mastro, Young, and Doscher read, “We need ambitious fans like this.”