The Other Side of a Rivalry
Producer: Maggie Burbank
The rivalry of the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox is perhaps the bitterest in all of sports, but in a moment of tragedy they banded together like true comrades for someone in need. Last summer, Bridget Johnson, 11-year-old daughter of Red Sox first base coach Ron Johnson, was riding her horse, Rhonda, when they were struck by a car. The young girl’s left leg was severed and her horse had to be put down. The Red Sox immediately chipped in to help with the family’s mounting bills, and Ron Johnson’s longtime friend, Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long, led a charge inside the New York clubhouse by rallying players to raise money for Bridget’s care as well. In this REAL SPORTS/Sports Illustrated collaboration, correspondent Frank Deford learns more about the heart-wrenching event that changed the rivalry, if just for a moment.