Answer: The New York Yankees
In April of last year Yarmouth Police Sgt. Sean Gannon was shot and killed in the line of duty. A K-9 officer, Gannon was shot while serving a warrant in the Marstons Mills village of Barnstable, Massachusettes, a tiny village in Cape Cod, where the Yankees are considered bitter rivals. That didn’t stop the Bronx Bombers from sending a bouquet of flowers to the police station bearing a card with five unexpected words: “From the New York Yankees.” In fact, it’s something the professional baseball team has been doing since 2015 on a national scale, and it’s a tradition that grew out of a habit the Yankees have been practicing for decades.
Back home the New York Yankees have been sending flowers to the funerals of officers killed in the New York metropolitan area for years. One day in 2015, however, that changed when Sonny Hight, a former detective in the New York Police Department who is a Yankees vice president and the chief security officer, heard about a police officer killed in another state. According to the New York Times, Mr. Hight was moved to act saying, “I just thought, hey, this guy deserves to be recognized for his sacrifice. We should at least send some flowers acknowledging it.” From that moment on, the effort blossomed into a nationwide outreach to fallen officers.
The timing is interesting as well, the New York Times, notes. “2015 coincided with rising national protests against the police after a series of deadly shootings involving officers, but Mr. Hight said there was no political agenda behind the gesture. It was, and remains, merely an expression of sympathy.” Bouquets have been sent to Massachusettes, Lebanon, Indiana, Kansas City, and Fargo North Dakota. Some have called it a PR move, but it’s hard to see it that way when the Yankees themselves have been doing this for years, and the nationwide outreach was started by a former detective. Way to go, Yanks.