YAN­KEES

Team sends f low­ers to fam­i­lies, de­part­ments of slain po­lice of­fi­cers

Richmond Times-Dispatch - - SPORT + - BY DAVID WALDSTEIN

The po­lice depart­ment in Yar­mouth, Mass., was mourn­ing the death of one of its of­fi­cers, Sean Gan­non, last month when a bou­quet ar­rived at the sta­tion bear­ing a card with five un­ex­pected words: “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,’” said Frank Fred­er­ick­son, the Yar­mouth po­lice chief. “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?’ ”

Re­ac­tions were sim­i­lar at the sher­iff’s depart­ment in Le­banon, Ind., last month and at a home in Fargo, N.D., in 2016, and dozens of other lo­ca­tions from Maine to Alaska. For the past three years, the Yan­kees have been qui­etly send­ing flow­ers to the fam­i­lies and po­lice de­part­ments of slain law en­force­ment of­fi­cers

In most of the places, the im­me­di­ate ques­tion was sim­i­lar: Why would the Yan­kees send flow­ers to us?

The ges­ture grew from some­thing the Yan­kees have done for decades — send­ing flow­ers to the fu­ner­als of of­fi­cers killed in the New York metropoli­tan area.

But one day in 2015, Sonny Hight, a former de­tec­tive in the New York Po­lice Depart­ment who is a Yan­kees vice pres­i­dent and the chief se­cu­rity of­fi­cer, ex­panded the pro­gram.

Hight said there is no po­lit­i­cal agenda be­hind the ges­ture. It was, and re­mains, merely an ex­pres­sion of sym­pa­thy.

The goal of the project is to de­liver flow­ers to the fu­ner­als or sta­tion houses of ev­ery of­fi­cer killed in ac­tion na­tion­wide, but it is dif­fi­cult to keep pace. Deb­bie Ni­colosi, a Yan­kees em­ployee since 1973, finds the names and ad­dresses, and ar­ranges for the flow­ers and cards to be de­liv­ered.

“We don’t even know how many we have sent,” Ni­colosi said. “It can some­times be as

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