Last month Major League Baseball celebrated the 60th anniversary of Jackie Robinson's debut with great fanfare. All over the country teams and players wore the number 42 in memory of the Dodger legend and in tribute to all that he meant to the game of baseball. Lost amid the festivities was another number 42 from baseball's bygone days.
Thankfully Newsday caught up with the gargantuan former Red Sox, Angel and Met to see how life's been treating him since he stopped cashing checks for missing work while frequenting strip clubs and smorgasboards.
Vaughn and his attorney, Eugene Schneur, have jumped into real estate, forming a company that buys low-income housing, then renovates and manages it. Their original goal was to focus on New York City, but it's become such a success that they've branched out, most recently to Long Island.
It's laudable that Vaughn has chosen to keep the properties that he renovates as affordable housing, especially since he could rehab them and then flip them to others who would offer them at market rates. Of course he still gets tax credits and government bonds, proving that he's still not averse to taking a little more money for the same amount of work. Which is pretty magnanimous of a guy who earned more than $100 million playing baseball during his career.
The big question on our minds is whether time away from baseball has changed Mo Vaughn.
"I do need to work," he said. "What are you going to do with yourself for the next 30 years? I just found it very, very difficult not to be doing something."
It's changed him a lot, apparently.