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Cole making 'significant' donations to NYC relief

@BryanHoch
April 2, 2020

TAMPA, Fla. -- Gerrit Cole has yet to throw his first regular-season pitch as a member of the Yankees, but as the coronavirus crisis continues in New York City, the ace right-hander is making his presence felt away from the field. Cole told the New York Post on Thursday that

TAMPA, Fla. -- Gerrit Cole has yet to throw his first regular-season pitch as a member of the Yankees, but as the coronavirus crisis continues in New York City, the ace right-hander is making his presence felt away from the field.

Cole told the New York Post on Thursday that he and his wife, Amy, plan to make “significant” donations to Direct Relief, an organization that coordinates with public health authorities and nonprofit organizations to assist health workers responding to COVID-19.

“Being within arm’s length of this, with everybody in the tri-state area so heavily affected, we wanted to jump in and help as much as we could,” Cole told the Post. “It will be rolling along in the next couple of days as far as contributing to New York. As the crisis evolves, we kind of evolve. I trust the people who are in charge of these foundations to get what we are giving them exactly where it is needed the most.”

Direct Relief is expected to provide personal protective equipment and essential medical items to health workers, including masks, gloves, gowns and other gear.

Cole’s donations will be made through the “Gerrit and Amy Cole Foundation.” The hurler was 11 years old when the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, brought the United States to a standstill, and he said that New York City’s response was “inspiring.”

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“It seems like whenever there is a national crisis, New Yorkers rise to the challenge,” Cole said. “New Yorkers lead our nation because they are tough and resilient. It’s part of the reason why Amy and I wanted to be part of New York. It has touched every part of the country, but being here at the epicenter, there is a different sense of urgency.”

Had the coronavirus not halted Major League Baseball’s season, Cole would have drawn the honors of serving as the Yankees’ Opening Day starter one week ago. He told the Post that he is continuing to keep his pitching arm in shape by playing catch with manager Aaron Boone, right-hander Adam Ottavino and bullpen catcher Radley Haddad.

“Being able to stay in that routine has been beneficial,” Cole said. “I’m trying to keep the pilot light on like other players, being as ready as we can be when we are called back to being able to play.”

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and Facebook.