STAMFORD, Conn. — Brian Cashman won’t be the only baseball person rappelling down the Landmark Square Building on Sunday — he'll have Stamford sports legend Bobby Valentine right beside him.
“We were shoulder to shoulder on the side of the building,” Valentine said of Friday morning's practice run with the Yankees General Manager for Sunday's Heights and Lights ceremony.
Lifelong Stamford resident Valentine remembered when Landmark Square was being built. He enjoyed getting a new view of the city, seeing it reflected in the building's windows as he made his way to the ground.
“When you’re driving up I-95 you’ll see the Landmark a lot differently,” Cashman, who is participating in Heights and Lights for the third straight year, said to Valentine.
Valentine said he was unsure what to expect but knows the more he rappels the more comfortable he'll get. “Practice gives you confidence, whether you’re hitting a baseball or rappelling down a building,” the former major league baseball manager said.
Cashman said it gets easier with repetitions but added he still doesn’t look down. He said he feels it’s healthy to be scared going down from 22 stories up. “The first is always the worst,” he said.
Joining Cashman and Valentine will be Rick Reichmuth of Fox News and Officer Heather Franc of the Stamford Police Department.
Franc, who has played Mrs. Claus for several years at the department’s Christmas party, asked to be a part of Heights and Lights because she thought it would be fun, even though fellow officers thought she was crazy.
Franc has rappelled before, but that was 20 years ago, so she was happy to practice Friday morning.
“You wouldn’t want Mrs. Claus hanging from a rope,” she said.
Heights and Lights will start at 5 p.m. at the Landmark Square Building for the rappel and move to nearby Latham Park for a Christmas Tree lighting and music by the Jumpers Orchestra.
Sandy Goldstein, president of the downtown district, thanked Reckson/SL Green, a sponsor of the event, for its continued support.