Yankees' Gerrit Cole, Wife To Make 'Significant' Donation To Support Coronavirus Relief in NYC

Max Goodman

While New Yorkers continue longing for Gerrit Cole's first regular season appearance in pinstripes, the Yankees' new ace is making his presence felt off the field amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Cole told the NY Post on Thursday that he and his wife, Amy, have pledged to make a "significant" donation to Direct Relief, an organization that works with public-health and non-profit organizations to support health workers fighting the spread of COVID-19 with protective equipment and essential medical items.

"Being within arms-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."

The donations will be made through The Gerrit and Amy Cole Foundation, an idea that was months in the making. Moving to nearby Connecticut, following the suspension of Spring Training, was a catalyst to its activation. Cole's Foundation will also invest in local New York hospitals.

READ: Yankees, NYCFC Announce $1.4 Million distress fund for day-of-game Yankees Stadium employees

Cole famously grew up a Yankees fan in Southern California, attending the 2001 World Series in Phoenix between the Diamondbacks and Yankees. He recalled the terrorist attacks on September 11 of that year – even at 11 years old at the time, he was mature enough to understand New York's response, calling it "inspiring."

"It seems like whenever there is a national crisis New Yorkers rise to the challenge,’’ Cole explained. “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.’’

After signing a record nine-year, $324 million deal with the Bombers this offseason, Cole and his wife, pregnant with the couple's first child, have made the New York area their permanent residence. 

It's still unclear as to when Cole will be able to make his first regular season appearance with the Yankees. In the meantime, Cole is "hunkered down," practicing social distancing to do his part in controlling the spread of the coronavirus, while keeping his arm loose with other members of the Yankees family that live nearby.

"Playing catch with [Aaron Boone], [Adam] Ottavino and [bullpen catcher] Radley [Haddad],’’ Cole told the Post. “Staying on my regimented workout routine here at my residence. Being able to stay in that routine has been beneficial. Trying to keep the pilot light on like other players and being as ready as we can be when we are called back to being able to play."

Cole has also thrown with his wife, who played collegiate softball at UCLA. 

Asked if he believes Major League Baseball will resume and the 2020 regular season will be played, Cole did his best to remain optimistic.

“I hope so. I certainly hope so.’’

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