Through charity, Cano hopes to make impact
Yanks second baseman hosts 'Super Heroes' event to benefit building schools
NEW YORK -- Robinson Cano understands the value of giving back. The Yankees second baseman grew up in a poor town in a poor country, so he knows how important it is to help others in need.
Since he became a Yankee, he's had that chance. Cano has been doing charity work with his RC24 Foundation for four or five years, he said, helping to raise money to positively impact the lives of less fortunate children in communities in both New York and his native Dominican Republic.
Cano continued that work on Monday night, hosting his "Super Heroes" Fundraiser and Domino Tournament at the 40/40 Club in Manhattan.
He also spent the day at the MLB Fan Cave, hosting 40 kids from his foundation. There were "Super Heroes" in attendance, and Cano and the kids ate pizza, played games and had full run of everything the Fan Cave has to offer.
"The more money you get, the more you can do," Cano said on the red carpet before the event. "Even if you have money or don't have money, if you've got good people around you, you can do a lot of good things."
There were plenty of celebrity guests on hand for the event at the high-end night club, including rapper Jay-Z, Oklahoma Thunder star Kevin Durant and Yankees teammates CC Sabathia, Vernon Wells and Jayson Nix.
Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte were also on the guest list, as was New York Knicks forward Amar'e Stoudemire.
There were also many members of Jay-Z's new sports entertainment company, Roc Nation Sports. Cano became one of the first athletes to sign with the agency when he left agent Scott Boras in April.
"You want the people around you who will help you do this kind of thing. That's what I really like to do. Help others," Cano said. "Getting guys like Jay and all his people who work with him, you know, helping be out tonight to raise some money for the cause, that's really impressive."
The night's main event was a domino tournament with an opportunity to play against Cano in the VIP suite. The winner if the domino tournament received a custom domino set signed by Cano, a trilogy of Ace of Spades Champagne, tickets to a Brooklyn Nets game against the Miami Heat in the Barclays Center next season, backstage passes to Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake's Legends of Summer concert at Yankee Stadium in July and use of a brand new Rolls Royce for one weekend.
There was also a live and silent auction on various Yankees memorabilia and other prizes.
The "Super Heroes" were on the red carpet outside the club. Iron Man, Spider Man and Captain America were all in attendance.
Many of the proceeds from Monday's event will go toward Cano's new goal of building schools. The second baseman wants to begin building affordable schools for underprivileged children in the Dominican Republic beginning in August.
The schools wouldn't be baseball related, instead focusing on education.
"Hopefully this thing goes great. My goal is just to start now building schools. Now we got a deal with Dream Project, so we're going to build our first school," Cano said. "We're going to have 100 kids. It's going to be $800 a kid. So hopefully we raise the money. Our goal is to open the first one, then just keep opening more in the Dominican."
Josh Vitale is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.