Yankees quietly send gifts to families of slain police officers


The New York Yankees are the most hated team in Major League Baseball and among the least liked in all of sports.

Across the country, the Bronx Bombers are viewed by many as the Evil Empire and their fans are seen as obnoxious loudmouths.

The loathing is at least partly rooted in envy, of course; other fans are jealous of New York’s 27 World Series championships and the mega-market revenue advantage that fuels their success (the Yankees’ 2017 haul of $619 million was more than double most teams’).

But sometimes the folks in pinstripes do something that even those who detest them have to applaud.

For decades, the Yankees have sent flowers to the funerals of slain police officers in the New York area, The New York Times reported.

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In 2015, the team’s vice president and chief security officer, Sonny Hight, decided to expand the effort. Hight, a former detective in the New York Police Department, told The Times he heard about an officer who was killed in the line of duty in another state and was moved to act.

“I just thought, hey, this guy deserves to be recognized for his sacrifice,” Hight said. “We should at least send some flowers acknowledging it.”

Since then, the Yankees have been quietly sending flowers to the families and police departments of slain officers across the nation, The Times reported.

The bouquets have come as a welcome surprise to those who have received them in a difficult time — even Yankee haters.

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Last month, the Yarmouth Police Department in Massachusetts was mourning the death of Officer Sean Gannon, who was shot and killed while serving a warrant.

Police Chief Frank Frederickson was shocked when a bouquet of flowers arrived at the station with a card that read: “From the New York Yankees.”

“I’m a die-hard Red Sox fan, and my first reaction was, ‘Call the delivery guy and tell him to take them back,'” Frederickson told The Times. “I say that in jest, of course.

“That is a class move, and it meant a lot to us. All the guys came down and wanted to see it. They were like, ‘Are you kidding me?’”

The Yankees’ support for the families of fallen law enforcement officers dates back to 1982, when team owner George Steinbrenner helped create the Silver Shield Foundation. The organization “has taken responsibility for the education of over 800 children” whose fathers or mothers were killed in the line of duty, it says on its website.

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The sending of flowers grew out of that effort. While it’s a simple gesture, it can be powerful.

In 2016, Officer Jason Moszer was shot and killed in the line of duty in Fargo, North Dakota, and his 11-year-old stepson, Dillan Dahl, was devastated. Dillan’s father, Tim Dahl, said that when the flowers from the Yankees arrived, the boy took them to his room and watered them, trying to keep them alive for as long as possible.

“It was the first time he smiled in days,” Dahl said.

It just got a little harder to hate the Yankees.

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Todd Windsor is a senior story editor at The Western Journal. He has worked as an editor or reporter in news and sports for more than 30 years.
Todd Windsor is a senior story editor at The Western Journal. He was born in Baltimore and grew up in Maryland. He graduated from the University of Miami (he dreams of wearing the turnover chain) and has worked as an editor and reporter in news and sports for more than 30 years. Todd started at The Miami News (defunct) and went on to work at The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C., the St. Petersburg (now Tampa Bay) Times, The Baltimore Sun and Space News before joining Liftable Media in 2016. He and his beautiful wife have two amazing daughters and a very old Beagle.
Bachelor of Science from the University of Miami
Phoenix, Arizona
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Politics, Media, Sports