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A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News

Here’s what happened to the belt

Posted by: Sam Borden - Posted in Misc on Oct 02, 2009 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

As you guys know, the Yankees – led by A.J. Burnett – decided to autograph and then auction off the original WWE championship belt that was passed around the clubhouse and awarded to that day’s player of the game. The proceeds would go to Camp Sundown, a year-round camp in upstate New York for kids suffering from Xeroderma Pigmentosum (XP), a rare genetic disease which causes the body to be unable to repair cells damaged by UV light. You might remember that the Yankees welcomed Camp Sundown to the Stadium for a late-night visit during HOPE Week.

Well, the auction is complete now and I thought you might like to know what happened. The winner was Mark Boynton, who along with his fiance bid an amazing $9,400 for the belt. I had an e-mail exchange with Mark today to find out what prompted him to be so generous, and this is what he wrote:

I am a lifelong fan. My fiancé, born and raised in Trinidad & Tobago, knew zero about baseball and the Yankees until we started dating but now is a huge fan. This season has been special for us personally, including going to the first game at the new stadium, and special for the team as they once again win the AL East and make their run at number 27. … This team has found a chemistry and camaraderie that feels like the late 90′s.

The belt was one of the first and most visible signs. It’s a really special, one of a kind piece of Yankees history. Then you actually have the signatures of the players including some of the greatest Yankees ever to play! On top of all that, the proceeds go to a great charity in the middle of one of the worst giving climates in economic history. We talked about it and decided we would forego some other things and instead, go for the belt! The last minute bidding was nerve-wracking!

We don’t have kids so our plan right now is to stare like goofy school kids at this very special, instant heirloom and then eventually donate it to Cooperstown or the Yankees organization. … I don’t know what else to say other than it’s really special and we’re thrilled and honored to receive it.

Thanks to Mark for his generosity, and for sharing his story with us. Game post coming in a few hours.



35 Responses to “Here’s what happened to the belt”

  1. dennis mugno October 2nd, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    i actually put a bid for this belt when it first was open for auction… although my budget was a little less (240$) i still dream of wearing it one day.. lol

  2. Jason @ IIATMS October 2nd, 2009 at 1:29 pm

    Kicka$$ move, Mr. Boynton

  3. MikeBoston October 2nd, 2009 at 1:29 pm

    Wow, that is awesome!!

  4. kris October 2nd, 2009 at 1:30 pm

    What a great story. I am jealous, but happy it went to a loving home.

  5. grafxkid October 2nd, 2009 at 1:30 pm

    What a great gesture. Congrats on winning the auction and for sharing your story behind it.

  6. jennifer October 2nd, 2009 at 1:32 pm

    That is so nice! What did the belt end up going for?

  7. Jenny Mathis October 2nd, 2009 at 1:33 pm

    I’m sorry, I wouldn’t pay a dime for a WWE belt no matter whose signature’s on there. Not a chance.

  8. NYYROC October 2nd, 2009 at 1:33 pm

    Very generous Mr. Boynton, congrats!!

  9. Erin October 2nd, 2009 at 1:35 pm

    Wow, that’s great. Congrats to Mr. Boynton!!

  10. Rishi October 2nd, 2009 at 1:36 pm

    that’s a great story

  11. dennis mugno October 2nd, 2009 at 1:36 pm

    do you know how much that belt will be worth, say in, 10 years if they end up winning the WS in 09?

  12. Doreen October 2nd, 2009 at 1:36 pm

    Sam -

    Thanks for sharing that with us. What good that money is going to do! I can’t imagine those kids not being able to go out in the sunlight. Such a basic thing we all take for granted. It was a great idea to auction it off, and such a wonderful gesture by the winners of the auction.


    Off topic, but -

    First, I’m watching Nick Turturro on MLB (I Breathe Baseball). You have got to watch this. I’m cracking up.

    Second, is this a good sign? We’re painting the basement, so I’m cleaning off a bookshelf and the last thing I got to was an envelope addressed to our home when we lived in Illinois in 1998. I opened the envelope and inside was the Daily News Special World Series Edition.

    It’s a good sign, right??????????? :lol:

  13. m October 2nd, 2009 at 1:36 pm

    Wow. I’m blown away by Mr. Boynton’s generosity and eloquence.

    And another angel just got their wings. Another Yankee fan in the fold. ;)

  14. betsy October 2nd, 2009 at 1:36 pm

    aww, that’s really sweet. What a wonderful couple Mark Boynton and his fiancee seem to be……how generous they are. I hope they stare the heck out of that thing, and if it ends up in Cooperstown? Fabulous.

    Sam, thanks for updating us!

  15. Rishi October 2nd, 2009 at 1:38 pm

    Doreen – I saw that first episode of “I love baseball” and thought two things:

    1. that is hysterical
    2. is that what I look like to the outside world :)

  16. Rishi October 2nd, 2009 at 1:38 pm

    sorry “I breath baseball”

  17. Frank from Chatham, NJ October 2nd, 2009 at 1:41 pm


    In the previous thread, I sent you some info.

  18. Carl October 2nd, 2009 at 1:45 pm

    Great read! Way to go Mr. Boynton!

  19. Bb October 2nd, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    wow that is a beautiful story

  20. daled October 2nd, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    Damn San your making this blog come alive with some really fresh insights.
    I know a new broom sweeps clean but I bet your going to keep striving to fill those huge shoes of Abe’s

  21. upstate kate October 2nd, 2009 at 1:53 pm

    very sweet, glad it went to a couple who truly appreciate it

  22. ... October 2nd, 2009 at 1:55 pm

    Forbes’s list of revenue and operating income for the 2008 season

  23. Luke October 2nd, 2009 at 1:58 pm

    Maybe he will give it to Camp Sundown some day.
    I’m sure that would help raise spirits there even more than his donation will

    Kudos to him and his fiance

  24. Jerkface October 2nd, 2009 at 2:04 pm

    Marlins and Nationals with the highest operating income *face palm*

  25. smile for the camera October 2nd, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    i need to start playing poker again. i miss being rich.

  26. Batty October 2nd, 2009 at 2:27 pm

    That’s awesome Mark!!

  27. Ed H. October 2nd, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    Well done!

  28. 46fan October 2nd, 2009 at 2:41 pm

    Sam, thanks for sharing this story with us….it is so refreshing to know that there are folks out there who spent a huge sum to benefit people with a horrible disease and that these folks are actually going to donate the belt after a time… this time of “how can I make a buck off” everything, their generosity stands heads about the crowd!!!!

  29. JasonR October 2nd, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    I think the value for the belt doubles if they win the World Series this year. Not bad for something that costs $17 on

  30. Arno October 2nd, 2009 at 4:10 pm

    I was actually hoping they would keep that belt around through the playoffs. But a good story, very generous of Mark to do that.

  31. Golden October 2nd, 2009 at 4:10 pm

    Great story and great people right there who made that generous bid/donation.

  32. Michael October 2nd, 2009 at 4:28 pm

    such a great story; I had to comment to acknowledge this whole thing…it is what makes America so great. Thanks for the story Sam!

  33. Rich in NJ October 2nd, 2009 at 11:12 pm

    Donate it to the Yankee organization? Keep it, dude.

  34. The Captain October 2nd, 2009 at 11:15 pm

    How can I donate to Mark and his Fiance? Wouldn’t it be great to help them build a life which in turn helped them get the Belt that helped the camp that will be shown to millions to enjoy once it is donated??

    Sam…let’s start something great!

  35. Mark October 3rd, 2009 at 10:35 am


    First, we GREATLY appreciate all of the support and comments! WOW! It’s such a great demonstration of the strength and class of the Yankee Community. Thank you!

    Second, Captain, your offer is amazing but please, if we’re going start a donation pool, let’s do it for Camp Sundown. My lady and I have great jobs, while I can’t tell you how much we are moved by your offer, we don’t need that generosity.

    So, here it is Yankee fans – a challenge!! If every person who commented on this blurb gave $50 (a couple tanks of gas!) we’d have another $1500+ for those kids. If you managed $100 a piece we’d have $3000!


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