Former Yankees right-fielder Rusty Torres recently visited the students in the Locust Valley Intermediate School SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) Club and shared with them the importance of making good decisions.

Dressed in Yankee pinstripes and the signature blue “NY” turtleneck, Torres told the group of third through fifth graders the importance of thinking things through, not giving in to peer pressure, and making healthy choices. For the 120 members of the school’s SADD Club, his message reinforced the values that drive the club in the first place.

SADD club advisor Marc Galloway said having a professional athlete speak to the students makes a tremendous impact. “They look up to athletes as role models and are influenced by them,” Mr. Galloway explained. “Students are more likely to listen to a positive message from a role model.”

The enthusiastic young fans brought baseballs, bats, tee shirts, and lots of paper for the baseball player to sign. Although Mr. Torres played for the Yankees in the 1970s – before they were even born – the students were clearly starstruck.