It has been the Yankees' best-kept secret for the past three years. Until now.
The Yankees have been secretly sending floral arrangements to families and police departments of officers who have been killed in action. And it hasn't just been New York-based departments. It has been country-wide.
Last month, the organization sent flowers to Yarmouth, Mass. in the wake of the shooting death of officer Sean Gannon. The Yankees are considered the enemy in this part of the country, but even the Red Sox faithful give a tip of their cap to the pinstripes for their gesture.
"I'm a die-hard Red Sox fan, and my first reaction was, 'Call the delivery guy and tell him to take them back,' " Yarmouth police chief Frank Frederickson told The New York Times David Waldstein. "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?' "
Another arrangement was sent to Lebanon, Ind. to honor Jacob Pickett, who was shot to death on March 2. A colleague of Pickett's in Major Tony Harris, who is a Cubs fan, bought a Yankees hat and customized a sweatshirt with his name and badge number on the back after being moved by the team's gesture.
"They reached out all the way from New York, and with everything they've got going on they think of us?" Harris said. "For them to do that was incredibly classy."
Sending flowers has been a Yankee tradition for years, as they would send arrangements as a condolence for officers killed in the metropolitan area. But it was the Yankees' chief security officer, Sonny Hight, who decided to make it a national agenda in 2015.
Whenever Hight hears of an unfortunate instance where an officer has died in the line of duty, it goes through the Yankees' executive director for stadium security Todd Letcher, who is a former F.B.I. agent. Then a long-time Yankees employee, Debbie Nicolosi, figures out the address and names of the people to send the flowers to.
"I just thought, hey, this guy deserves to be recognized for his sacrifice," Hight, a former NYPD detective said, "We should at least send some flowers acknowledging it."