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07/08/08 8:29 PM ET

Yanks host Buses for Baseball program

Forty underpriveleged children attend game against Rays

NEW YORK -- After Tuesday's Yankees-Rays game, sixth-grader Chianna Joseph will put her ticket stub, autographed by New York reliever David Robertson, in a frame.

"I'll keep it there for my memory so I never forget the day at Yankee Stadium," said Joseph, who had never been to a professional baseball game before Tuesday.

Joseph was one of 40 children from the Committee for Hispanic Children and Families who went to the game as part of Buses for Baseball, a program of the Major League Baseball Players Trust that sends underprivileged children to baseball games.

With the help of the charities of LaTroy Hawkins, Melky Cabrera, Robinson Cano, Joba Chamberlain, Derek Jeter and Chad Moeller, the children were provided transportation, tickets and food vouchers.

A few hours before the game, they got autographs from many players and were able to ask group questions.

"It's a good program," Hawkins said. "A lot of those kids take home lifelong memories."

The children said the bus ride to Yankee Stadium from M.S. 391 in the Bronx was full of nervousness and excitement. For many, it was their first ballgame.

And when they met the players -- "They're so much taller in person," sixth-grader Charlie Rodriguez said -- they got autographs for themselves and their families.

Said Rodriguez: "My mother was so excited. I had to get her autographs."

Willie Bans is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.