8-Year-Old Boy Believes He’s The Reincarnation of Baseball Legend Lou Gehrig


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Christian Haupt just turned eight years-old and some men and women say they’ve by no means seen a baseball prodigy like him. His mom even thinks small Christian might just be the reincarnation of legendary baseball player Lou Gehrig. In her new book The Boy Who Knew As well Much: An Astounding True Story Of A Young Boy’s Past Life Memories, Cathy Byrd writes that when Christian was just three years-old he told her out of the blue that he was once was ‘a tall baseball player’ who had a feud with Babe Ruth.

Stanley Jefferson
He was the rage when I went to Truman Higher School in the Bronx and was close friends with many of my friends as well. He and I came grew up in the very same Bronx neighborhood.

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Forgotten Hero

Former Met Stanley Jefferson struggles to cope with horror of life as 9/11 cop

BY WAYNE COFFEY, Day-to-day NEWS SPORTS WRITER

Four flights up in Co-Op City, at the end of a hallway in Creating 26, the big man sits in a huge brown recliner, boxed in by four walls and demons and an emptiness that doesn’t finish. If only it did. If only it were finite, measurable, like the outfields of Yankee Stadium and Shea Stadium, or the other large-league parks he after referred to as property.

Then Stanley Jefferson may well be able to know precisely what he’s dealing with. Then he may possibly be able to go outside, go to perform, perhaps share the issues he nevertheless believes he has to give, and commence to pick up the shards of a life that sometimes appears broken beyond recognition.

It is early in a late-winter afternoon. In Florida the Mets and Yankees are playing their very first spring-education games, the sense of renewal as palpable as the palm trees. In Developing 26 in the Bronx, the feeling is distinct, and has been ever because Sept. 11, 2001. Stanley Jefferson, former large-league ballplayer and former New York City police officer, and 1 of the greatest schoolboy players the city has ever made, has the remote in his hand, and his beloved Yorkshire terrier, Rocky, on his lap. His wife, Christie, is off at her job at a social-solutions agency in Westchester. The apartment is crammed with a sectional sofa and a desk and exercise machines that sit unused. Against 1 wall is a huge fish tank. All the fish are dead. Against another is a large-screen television, where Jefferson plays his video games, and watches his comedies, laugh tracks sounding as days pass into weeks, and weeks into months.

&quotRaymond,&quot &quotFamily Guy,&quot &quotTwo and a Half Guys,&quot Stanley Jefferson likes them all.

&quotThey hold my spirits up, rather than crying or brooding,&quot he says. A faint smile crosses his broad, goateed face. The spirits do not stay up for extended.

Fifteen years after his baseball career ended with a ruptured Achilles, two years right after his police profession ended when the division declared him unfit for duty, 44-year-old Stanley Jefferson, former shield No. 14299 and former uniform No. 13, wrangles with the NYPD over his disability benefit, and with a much far more debilitating enemy: the ravages of post-traumatic stress disorder. It is a situation that the National Center for Post-Traumatic Anxiety Disorder, a division of the U.S. Dept. of Veteran Affairs, defines as &quotan anxiousness disorder that can occur following the expertise or witnessing of a traumatic occasion.&quot For Jefferson, it has spawned everything from agoraphobia to panic attacks to immobilizing depression to recurring nightmares – one in which he is tormented by a ball of fire reminiscent of the explosion he witnessed when the second plane flew into the second tower a handful of minutes following 9 a.m. on 9/11, another in which he desperately tries to save a folks in peril, but by no means manages to reach them.

Once, in 1983, Jefferson was a first-round draft decision of the Mets (taken 1 slot soon after the Red Sox chosen a pitcher named Clemens), a blindingly quick, 5-11, 175-pound center fielder out of Truman High School, and Bethune-Cookman College in Daytona Beach. He nevertheless may possibly be the fastest player the organization has ever had. He was clocked running a 4.27 40 on a wet track in the course of his Met tryout, and was timed at three. from home to 1st in college. He had some 120 steals in his initial 3 minor-league seasons, and hit an inside-the-park grand slam. Now he is 255 pounds and speeding nowhere.

He leaves the apartment about only twice a week, and even then it really is only if he feels safe, if he’s meeting someone close to him, such as Steve Bradstetter, 40, a Long Island businessman who is possibly his closest friend.

&quotI have no life,&quot Jefferson says, in a flat, baritone voice. &quotI’ve screwed up a lot of days.&quot He pauses. He wrings his hands, some thing he does often. &quotI constantly believed this was anything that would pass. I believed I could overcome something, since that is just my athletic mentality. I am ashamed since I never believed that some thing like this could take place to me.&quot

Says Christie, his wife of 3 years, &quotThis is not the man I married.&quot

* * *
Even by the sculpted physique requirements of skilled sports, Stanley Jefferson’s physique – ropes of lean muscle on top of thick sprinter’s legs – usually stood out. When you saw him in motion, it stood out even more. Willie Daniels, 44, a childhood friend of Jefferson’s from Co-Op City, played Tiny League with him, the two of them coached by Everod Jefferson, Stanley’s father. They went to Truman Higher together and then to Bethune-Cookman. Daniels still marvels at the time Jefferson beat out a two-hopper to initial against the University of Miami. In 1 college season, Jefferson stole 67 of 68 bases, obtaining caught only when his spikes got stuck on a wet track.

&quotI played with Devon White, Shawon Dunston, Walt Weiss, a lot of guys. Stanley is one of the best pure athletes I’ve ever noticed,&quot Daniels says.

The Mets did not disagree. Two years right after he created his pro debut in the Single-A New York-Penn League and was the league’s rookie of the year, Jefferson was one of the sensations of the club’s instruction camp. The year was 1986, and seven months before Mookie Wilson and Bill Buckner would become odd baseball bedfellows, Davey Johnson was likening the 23-year-old Jefferson to Chili Davis. Steve Schryver, director of minor-league operations, saw him as a young Bake McBride. Jefferson hit .500 in the spring, and if not for GM Frank Cashen’s reluctance to rush him, he most likely would’ve created the group.

&quotHow can you not adore his future?&quot Rusty Staub mentioned then. &quotYou appear at his capabilities and think ‘leadoff man.’ You consider about 100 runs a season.&quot Nor was he just a weapon at the top of the order. &quotIf the ball is in the ballpark, Stanley Jefferson will catch it,&quot said Joe McIlvaine, the future GM, envisioning Jefferson spending years alongside Darryl Strawberry.

Jefferson wound up fighting injuries most of the ’86 season in Tidewater, struggling with a chronic wrist problem and a hamstring pull. Still, he got a September contact-up, and picked up his first big-league hit off the Padres’ Dave LaPoint. It was supposed to be just the beginning, just before the performance of Lenny Dykstra and the lure of a star left fielder induced the Mets to make Jefferson a key part of a winter deal that brought Kevin McReynolds to Flushing. Fourteen games wound up becoming the entirety of Jefferson’s Met career.

Jefferson showed patches of promise in San Diego, stealing 34 bases in hitting eight homers and seven triples in 116 games, prior to a late-season slump left him with a .230 typical. A organic righty who was converted into a switch-hitter by the Mets following he was drafted, Jefferson struggled from the left side, and wound up having trouble on his natural side, also. He had a run-in with manager Larry Bowa, and quickly identified himself on a journeyman’s carousel, undertaking bits of time with the Yankees, Orioles, Indians and Reds just before he tore his Achilles tendon while playing winter ball in Puerto Rico soon after the 1991 season. He says he had tendinitis for years, but played by means of it. It wouldn’t be the final time Jefferson would ignore discomfort, try to push via it.

&quotPhysically, athletically, I had all the tools. I did not reside up to those lofty expectations,&quot Jefferson says.

With baseball behind him, Jefferson went to function as a warehouse manager of a lighting firm in Mt. Vernon, then spent a couple of years coaching in the minor leagues with the Mets and an independent group in Butte, Mont. His larger objective, though, was to become a New York City police officer. &quotI always wanted to be a cop, a detective,&quot Jefferson says. He took the exam, went through a battery of psychological and physical tests and was sworn in on Dec. 8, 1997. &quotHe was the excellent package for what you look for in a police officer,&quot says Eric Josey, 1 of his instructors in the Police Academy. Jefferson graduated in the spring of 1998, posed for a graduation picture with Mayor Giuliani and Commissioner Safir, then was assigned to the 14th Pct., Midtown South.

&quotI would always inform him, ‘You got to live your dream twice,’&quot Willie Daniels says. &quotMost men and women don’t even get to reside their dream once.&quot

For virtually four years, police perform was all Jefferson hoped it would be. One more Labor Day came and went. Children went back to school. It was a dazzlingly beautiful late-summer morning. It was a Tuesday.

* * *
Stanley Jefferson reported for operate at 7:05 a.m. on Sept. 11, having flown all night on a red-eye soon after a loved ones wedding in Seattle. Two hours later, in squad vehicle 1726, he and his companion, Ed Kinloch, were at 6th Ave. and 38th St. They had been eating breakfast. Jefferson, his muscled body built up to 210 pounds by normal trips to the fitness center, was getting his usual bowl of oatmeal. A voice on the radio came on. It told of an explosion at the World Trade Center. They started heading downtown ahead of getting ordered to cease at Union Square. Jefferson and Kinloch got out of the automobile. Jefferson looked downtown and got his initial glimpse of the remains of the first tower. He saw men and women jumping. He saw people waving towels, and far more smoke than he’d ever noticed in his life. He was still trying to fathom it when he watched the second plane rip right through the second tower. There was a ball of fire. It took a second or two for the sound of the horrific explosion to attain 14th St. Jefferson and Kinloch looked at every other.

&quotOh, bleep,&quot Kinloch said. &quotDid you see that?&quot

&quotWe’ve got a issue right here,&quot Jefferson stated.

They had been told to stay about 14th St. Jefferson and Kinloch did what they could to aid and direct folks, and comfort them. &quotThere was a lot of crying, a lot of hugging,&quot Jefferson says. &quotYou try to stay focused and do your job and not get caught up in people’s emotions, but it is hard.&quot A series of bomb threats followed. Jefferson worked until 9 p.m., and was back at Midtown South at four a.m., on the 12th. On Thursday and Friday, the 13th and 14th, Jefferson was at Ground Zero, according to his memo book. &quotWorld Trade Detail,&quot he wrote. Each and every day, Jefferson worked a 12-hour shift – from four a.m. to 4 p.m., on the pile, on the bucket brigade, putting body parts in bags, the carnage seemingly endless, the beeping of the empty oxygen packs of departed firefighters a shrill symphony that never stopped. The packs and other gear, most of it with burnt flesh attached, were thrown into a makeshift tent.

&quotIt was the smell of death in there, a smell you in no way neglect,&quot Kinloch says.

Jefferson spent a quantity of other shifts about Ground Zero in the ensuing weeks, and by the finish of the year, began to suffer from coughing spells and nightmares. He did not feel a lot of it at first, until his symptoms worsened in the spring of 2002, not extended after he was transferred to the Internal Affairs Bureau (IAB), a move that he hoped would lead to a speedy promotion to detective. He started to expertise periodic panic attacks, in which he would sweat profusely and really feel his heart pounding as if it had been a jackhammer. He also had difficulty sleeping. Even though preparing reports for his IAB operate, Jefferson says he started typing the same paragraph more than and more than.

&quotI didn’t know what was taking place,&quot he says. He did his ideal not to believe about it, hoping it would go away.

&quotI was in complete denial,&quot Jefferson says. &quotI wanted to be a detective, period. I just wanted to fake it till I could make it.&quot

Bradstetter started to wonder what was going on with his pal. He and Jefferson used to play golf all the time, but now Jefferson had no interest in it. He stopped functioning out, began gaining weight and identified it harder and harder to leave the apartment. First, Jefferson would make excuses to Bradstetter. Later he opened up, just a small.

&quotI do not know what is incorrect with me,&quot Jefferson told him.

Jefferson’s agoraphobia got progressively worse, and so did the panic attacks. His personal datebook shows 41 sick days in the first couple of months of 2003. Then, in March, days after he underwent an angiogram to right a 30% blockage in his heart, Jefferson’s mother died all of a sudden, and the combination of grief and the ongoing aftershocks of 9/11 sent him spiraling downward.

* * *
To say that Jefferson feels betrayed by the police department he dreamed of becoming a portion of is to grossly understate it. He believes that in his time of greatest require, he was treated with all the sensitivity of a pine-tar rag.

Possibly the 1st significant problem he had came down on June 23, 2003, just when his troubles were deepening. Jefferson had a doctor’s appointment and told his instant supervisor, Sgt. Michael Dowd, about it when his shift began. A short time ahead of Jefferson had to leave, Dowd requested that he finish up a case he was working on. Jefferson reminded him of his appointment. Dowd insisted that Jefferson do the work, and Jefferson refused to comply. In an incident report to Capt. Michael O’Keefe, Dowd said Jefferson was profane and belligerent, screaming, ‘Who the bleep do you consider you are talking to?&quot

Jefferson, in a counter-complaint, says that Dowd was upset because he wanted to leave to play golf. Jefferson subsequently filed a discrimination lawsuit in federal court, a case that he settled out of court for $50,000 last year.

Five days after the dispute with Dowd, Jefferson suffered a panic attack as he drove from Co-Op City to the IAB office on Hudson Street. His vision was blurry, his heart pounding. Sweat was pouring out of him. He pulled over and went to the Lenox Hill Emergency Room. Jefferson’s bouts with panic – and fears he was possessing a heart attack – had made him such a normal at the ER in Our Lady of Mercy Hospital in Pelham that a single technician gently told him he needed to quit coming. Now right here he was in an ER again. He was terrified. He privately wondered when his troubles have been going to end, and if he have been going insane. He says his division superiors continually ignored his pleas – and the counsel of his therapist – to reduce his caseload and shift him from investigative to administrative operate, an opinion that is backed up by Sgt. John Paolucci, yet another IAB officer who supported Jefferson in a letter to the division Medical Board.

&quotNo consideration for his predicament was afforded him,&quot Paolucci wrote, adding that the complete culture of the division tends to make anyone who is incapacitated an outcast. &quotMost will doubt the veracity of your illness and compassion is out of the query.&quot

Police officials declined to address any specifics relating to Jefferson’s case.

Not even 48 hours right after his go to to Lenox Hill, Jefferson, of his own volition, went to the NYPD’s Psychological Evaluation Unit in Queens. He had a two-hour intake meeting with a division therapist, Christie at his side. His two handguns had been taken from him that day, and have by no means been returned, Jefferson becoming deemed unfit for police operate. He was transferred to the VIPER unit – the lowest level of police work, involving the monitoring of surveillance cameras. &quotIt’s the land of broken toys – where they send anybody with charges pending or a dilemma that tends to make them unable to work,&quot Jefferson says.

On Nov. eight, 2004, the NYPD moved to location him on Ordinary Disability Retirement (ODR), primarily based on a diagnosis of the division Medical Board of &quotmajor depressive disorder.&quot Jefferson later applied for Accidental Disability Retirement (ADR), on the grounds that his situation was triggered by his Post-Traumatic Tension Syndrome in the wake of 9/11 – a diagnosis made separately by a social worker and a psychiatrist who have treated Jefferson.

The ODR amounts to $1,400 month-to-month. An ADR – granted to officers mentally or physically incapacitated in the line of duty – would provide Jefferson with just under $4,000 month-to-month, tax-totally free. The Health-related Board and the Pension Board, citing reports by psychiatrists, social workers and an examination of Jefferson, said his mother’s death and his heart difficulties have been key triggers of his condition, and also described the depressed feelings he had when his 1st wife and two daughters left him, in 1991. The Boards asserted that there was insufficient proof to assistance a connection to 9/11 and Jefferson’s difficulties – a discovering upheld in State Supreme Court in Manhattan last October.

Mentioned Carolyn Wolpert, deputy chief of the pensions division of the city law division, &quotThe city is grateful to Stanley Jefferson for his practically eight years of service as a police officer. Due to healthcare concerns, the Police Pension Fund retired Officer Jefferson with ordinary disability rewards . . . The New York County Supreme Court identified that there was credible health-related evidence to help the determination that the officer’s disability was not triggered by his Planet Trade Center assignment.&quot Jeffrey L. Goldberg, a Lake Achievement, L.I.-primarily based lawyer representing Jefferson, is arranging on filing a second application for ADR advantages for Jefferson. Only nine officers who responded to the World Trade Center attacks have been granted accidental disability rewards for psychological motives, according to a police supply. Goldberg believes it is all but a de facto administration policy. &quotMayor Bloomberg considers accidental disability retirement a free lunch for a police officer like Stanley Jefferson,&quot Goldberg says. &quotThis is no totally free lunch. This is the genuine-life consequence of an officer responding to a tragedy and an emergency. Stanley Jefferson is a hero. He must be aided, not discarded. Hopefully, the city will recognize that and support him as he tries to recover from a terribly significant medical condition.&quot

* * *
Final week was a good 1 for Stanley Jefferson. He made it to Goldberg’s office, soon after canceling a series of prior appointments. His daughters, Nicole, 21, and Brittany, 19, came to go to from Virginia. He went for coffee at a bookstore near Co-Op City, and opened up about each aspect of his six-year ordeal: his shame, his vulnerability, his embarrassment over getting such a tough time walking out of Constructing 26, becoming in the world.

&quotI know individuals cannot understand it. I can’t comprehend,&quot he says. He talks about the medicines he requires to ease his anxiety and his depression, and about the drinking binges – Grey Goose and cranberry – he used to go on to escape his discomfort. &quotIt’s what got me outside,&quot Jefferson says. It also got him into full-blown rages, and a Westchester County therapy center last fall. He did not want to speak when he got there, ahead of he started to see that his therapist was appropriate: the silent suffering was practically nothing but fuel for the demons.

&quotI can not let pride get in the way,&quot Jefferson says.

Adds wife Christie, &quotI keep telling him he’s got to overlook all the machismo correct now, and comprehend he’s not the only 1 who has gone via this in his life, and operate on taking care of himself.&quot Steve Bradstetter, Jefferson’s buddy, will often be grateful to Jefferson for the way he responded when Bradstetter’s mother died. It was February of 2000, and Jefferson accompanied Bradstetter on a drive to Massachusetts. &quotIt was about the toughest circumstance I’ve ever had to deal with, and he was there for me,&quot Bradstetter says. &quotHe was like, ‘We’ll speak, we’ll laugh, we’ll try to make sense of it all.’&quot

Stanley Jefferson is a very various person than he was then. He is sad and frequently distant. When he and Bradstetter arrange to meet at a Dunkin’ Donuts or a diner, Jefferson waits in the auto till he sees Bradstetter pull up. Only then does he feel protected enough to get out. Occasionally Bradstetter will see his pal begin wringing his hands, see the beads of sweat operating down his temple, his leg jiggling as it have been stuck in complete throttle. Bradstetter doesn’t know what to say. &quotIt’s like his complete body is taken more than by whatever problems he’s dealing with.&quot He offers what comfort he can. He knows the real Stanley is still in there.

Tomorrow afternoon, Stanley Jefferson is supposed to go to Dobbs Ferry to meet with Bill Sullivan, the Mercy College baseball coach. Jefferson completed his degree at Mercy although he was on the force. Sullivan has gotten to know him and like him, and would love to have him aid out as a volunteer assistant.

&quotHe would be such an asset for our system,&quot Sullivan says.

From his big brown chair on the fourth floor, Jefferson looks out a window, toward his terrace and a barren Co-Op City courtyard. He talks about the issues he has to share in the globe, how maybe he can function with youngsters. He says assisting out at Mercy would be a great begin. Jefferson knows he can not remedy his illness, but he can face it, and battle it. The towers could be down forever, and his days of acquiring to first in three seconds might be behind him. But who says the rebuilding of a life cannot begin anew? Who says a 44-year-old man can not get back to first and second and third, and all the way back home, no matter how long it requires?

The massive man leans back in his chair.

&quotI do have optimism,&quot Stanley Jefferson says. &quotI do believe that I am powerful sufficient that I will ultimately get much better. I just have to preserve working at it.&quot

Originally published on March 4, 2007
By Runs With Scissors on 2007-03-04 18:42:38
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50 thoughts on “8-Year-Old Boy Believes He’s The Reincarnation of Baseball Legend Lou Gehrig”

  1. Kid probably got hit by a baseball and thought he was Lou Gehrig. Oh…ok now I get it… I can say that I’m the reincarnation of someone and get noticed by the news. Can’t believe these people even believe in this crap😂

  2. So like… he could’ve just read a book or decided to research him.

    I know how to draw so I must be Vincent Van Gogh

  3. All the commmts that were just left all literally all hat comments. Like i bet half of you dont even know what a reincarnation is. He probably is the reincarnation so chill out people. People dont just lie just to make money like bruh chill out you fat ass butts and go somewhere where you belong like maybe in the trash idk maybe in the dirt but go somewhere else

  4. The mom is obviously the reincarnation of a frickin crayon if she’s gonna believe a kid that doesn’t even know what 4+4 is

  5. This is so stupid😑😑😑😑😂😂😂😂😂😂 This mom just wants the spotlight and just wants money for some stupid movie that is not even true😑😅😅😅😂😂😂

  6. I’m the reincarnation of Shaq, please could I have a 3 minutes news segment on how I shoot like Shaq which makes me a reincarnation of Shaq the evidence is all leading up to the fact.

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