Ducks to honor Buddy Harrelson on Alzheimer's awareness night

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The Long Island Ducks will host a special Alzheimer's Awareness night on Friday, and they'll also honor one of their own who has the disease.

Buddy Harrelson chatted with News 12 sports director Kevin Maher in his first TV interview about his struggles and how he's battling to stay in the game.

Harrelson was the former Mets shortstop who won the World Series in 1969 and famously fought  Pete Rose in playoffs in 1973.

Harrelson is also the man who helped build the Ducks into a three-time champion.

At 74 years old, he's still the Ducks part owner, part coach, and the man who says creating the Ducks 18 years ago is the best thing he's ever done.

However, Harrelson is trying to do something even he knows he cannot accomplish, beating Alzheimer's disease.

Two years after his diagnosis, the disease is taking it's toll on Buddy.  He can't drive, can't tie his shoes and there's memory loss and confusion.

For now, Harrelson goes to Ducks games whenever he feels up to it.  He says knows baseball won't heal him, but he says it helps.

To thank Buddy for all he's done, the Ducks are going to retire his number 3 jersey before their game Friday night.

The current players will also wear purple jerseys that will be auctioned off to raise money for the Alzheimer's Association.

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