Cashman sleeps outside Stadium for charity

GM continues support for Covenant House, NY's homeless

November 15th, 2019

NEW YORK -- On 81 days during the regular season, the concrete expanse of Yankee Stadium’s Great Hall serves as an open-air pedestrian plaza and marketplace, serving the needs of the thousands of thirsty and hungry fans passing through its turnstiles on their way to ticketed seats.

On Thursday evening, that frigid floor served as Brian Cashman’s bed. For a ninth consecutive year, the Yankees' general manager participated in the Covenant House's Sleep Out: Executive Edition, an event that raises money and awareness in support of the millions of homeless young people in the United States.

“There’s no difference between any of them and us,” Cashman said. “I grew up as an intern with the Yankees. George Steinbrenner took a liking to me, guided me and mentored me in a way that made me eventually the general manager of the Yankees. These kids need opportunities, but they need more. They need a place to lay their heads so they can get a good night’s sleep and three square meals a day.”

Clad in a knit cap, sweatshirt, jacket, gloves and boots with temperatures in the low 40s, Cashman proudly showcased the sleeping bag that he planned to use for what he expected to be a mostly restless night, selecting a space where souvenirs are normally hawked underneath a large banner of Yankees captain Thurman Munson.

“I’ve had nights where it’s been cold, rainy,” Cashman said. “In no way, shape or form does it even come close to 365 days a year of what people are having to deal with. It’s one six-hour, eight-hour period or segment, and if you get no sleep -- which typically is the case -- you just wonder how people can survive with no knowledge of where your next meal is coming from.”

This is the first time that the Sleep Out event has been held at Yankee Stadium, moving from the Covenant House’s shelter headquarters on Manhattan’s West Side. The link between Cashman and the charity stems from the GM’s relationship with Covenant House president and CEO Kevin Ryan, who was Cashman’s classmate at Catholic University in Washington, D.C.

“This is a place of dreams, and we have 2,000 kids with big dreams sleeping under our Covenant House roof tonight,” Ryan said. “These folks are doing this tonight because we want to give kids an opportunity to move ahead in their lives. A lot of kids have aged out of foster care or they’re kids who are escaping human trafficking. They’re young people who really need a break. It’s sacred space.”

A member of the Covenant House International Board of Directors, Cashman said he expected more than 250 leaders in the field of business to join him at the Stadium. Covenant House is holding 18 similar Sleep Outs in various cities from Nov. 14-25, aiming to raise at least $10 million nationally.

“There’s so many things that we take for granted,” Cashman said. “We were lucky enough to have a house over our head, and in many cases, if you’re lucky, two great parents raising you. There’s so many unfortunate stories where there is no house over your head, there’s no family dynamic there to support you and protect you and guide you. Covenant House is there to catch as many of these kids as they can.”

For more information about the Covenant House Sleep Outs across the country, please visit