Yankees honor Watertown WWII veteran at game

May 24—BRONX — Watertown resident and New York Yankees fan Querino August "Augie" Alteri, 99, was special guest of the team on Thursday afternoon as part of the Veteran of the Game program.

The honor came after Alteri was honored Jan. 7 by the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens in a game against the Buffalo Bills.

Alteri is a Navy veteran of World War II and the Korean War. Between the wars, he served in the reserves.

A grandson of Augie, Navy Lt. Santino Alteri, a 2012 graduate of Immaculate Heart Central, approached the Dolphins a few years ago, wondering if they could do something for his grandfather. They worked with the Veteran of the Game LLC program, which supports major and minor league sports teams on their initiatives to honor veterans, active duty military to include first responders with their in-stadium military appreciation and recognition programs.

Santino's father, Paul Alteri, said that Santino met up with someone in the Yankees organization and they worked out a recognition for Augie at Yankee Stadium also.

"The Yankees contacted me and sent me a bunch of dates that they had available for my dad to be the Veteran of the Game," Paul said. "I gave them the date that worked best for us and things took off from there."

Augie, Paul and several other family members are life-long Yankees fans.

"My father took my mother to a Red Sox-Yankee game as part of their honeymoon," Paul said.

On Thursday afternoon, the Yankees defeated the Seattle Mariners 5-0. Joining Augie and Paul at the stadium were Paul's brothers Mike and Mark and Paul's youngest son, Vincenzo, who is a Naval intelligence officer.

The Alteri contingent had special seats, and lunch was provided at the Stadium's Hard Rock Cafe. When the time came for the honor, Paul rolled his dad onto the field's home plate area during the 7th-inning break. Augie's image appeared on the stadium screen.

"They gave him a hat, and they had the singing of 'God Bless America,'" Paul said. "He stood up in his chair. He wasn't going to sit down. He's too proud for that."

After some brief biographical information on Augie and his service, the Yankees third base coach Luis Rojas gave the veteran a baseball.

"He said, 'Thank you very much,' and we went back to our seats," Paul said.

Thursday's honor completed a major league trifecta for Augie. In November, he was a Veteran of the Game at Madison Square Garden in New York City during a New York Rangers National Hockey League contest.

Augie turns 100 in September. Paul thinks his father's Veteran of the Game honors have concluded. "That's tough travels for Dad," he said.