Yankees' Aaron Judge Pays Tribute to Frontline Workers Fighting Coronavirus, Joins #TheRealHeroes Initiative

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Most Yankees fans would cringe at the thought of a No. 99 jersey with another name other than "Judge" on the back. 

This, however, is an understandable exception.

With a strip of blue tape and a black marker, Aaron Judge wrote "RN Pantelidis" on the back of his jersey on Wednesday. The small gesture paid tribute to Stephanie Pantelidis, one of the countless frontline healthcare workers fighting the coronavirus pandemic.

Alongside former National League MVP Christian Yelich – who also penciled in a doctor's name on the back of his Milwaukee Brewers jersey – Major League Baseball is one of 14 professional sports leagues to partake in "The Real Heroes Project."

"My frontline hero is Stephanie Pantelidis," Judge said in a video announcement on Wednesday. "I've read a little bit about you and heard about the countless hours you've spent at the hospital, coming in on your days off to continue to help those in need. It's truly amazing. So continue to be a light in these dark times. You're not only a hero today, but you're a hero everyday Stephanie so thank you."

Then, Judge draped his jersey on his shoulder so he had his hands free to clap and cheer for Pantelidis, just as thousands of Yankees fans do for him on a daily basis. 

READ: Aaron Judge has turned 28. What is the slugger on pace for in his career? Can he reach 500 home runs?

This initiative isn't just dedicated for the biggest names in sports. You can participate too by taking your favorite jersey or shirt and writing the name of a healthcare hero on the back. By using #TheRealHeroes on social media, your voice can be heard while honoring those that have been battling COVID-19 during these unprecedented times. 

For Judge specifically, this isn't the first time he's given back to the community or aimed to raise money and awareness during this pandemic. Odds are, it won't be the last either. 

A few weeks ago, Judge announced his participation in the ALL IN Challenge, donating a once-in-a-lifetime experience at Yankee Stadium to raise funds dedicated to those affected by the coronavirus. 

READ: Aaron Judge, Alex Rodriguez, Yankees greats go "all in" to raise money for those impacted by COVID-19

The Yankees, as an organization, have also joined in on the ALL IN Challenge. New York has offered its own dreamlike experience at the ballpark. Again, all proceeds are set to go directly to nonprofit organizations giving back to those that need it most.

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