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Yankees ex-staffer helps feed coronavirus first responders, keep favorite pub in business

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Mike "Red" Walsh worked with the New York Yankees in the mid to late '90s and learned from George Steinbrenner how to be a man.

He told Fox News: “He taught all of us in the front office and the players on the field to always give back to the community and especially the first responders. I enjoyed going to work everyday for that man, it is many kids dreams to work the New York Yankees and I was fortunate enough to follow those dreams.”

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Mike "Red" Walsh, far left, is using his New York Yankees connections to feed New York City first responders while helping to keep a favorite pub in business during the coronavirus pandemic. (Mike "Red" Walsh)

Mike "Red" Walsh, far left, is using his New York Yankees connections to feed New York City first responders while helping to keep a favorite pub in business during the coronavirus pandemic. (Mike "Red" Walsh)

Walsh, who worked on the baseball team’s flights, hotels, and tickets for the players, families and guests, is using his connections to feed New York City first responders while helping to keep a favorite pub in business during the coronavirus pandemic. 

He is teaming up with several former players who are really going above and beyond in supporting and helping raise awareness to help the city’s frontline workers – they’ve been at it for a couple of weeks delivering meals to police, firemen and many, many hospitals.

Walsh said: “Feeding The Front Lines / NYC Stronger Together is a group effort on behalf of Luke’s Bar and Grill and its patrons in honor of our friend Joseph Carey, who passed on St. Patrick's Day a year ago.  We were going to do a celebration of his life this St. Patrick's Day, however the bars were closed on March 16. We got together as patrons and donated money to Luke's Bar and Grill  and owner Luigi Militello in Joe's honor.”

He said the group has raised about $50,000 since St. Patrick's Day. “The goal is to fundraise for meals so we can deliver them to the workers on the front lines – fire, police and health care heroes. As our mission gets some traction more individuals are coming forward with donations wanting to help. Ideally, we hope to keep this going until we are past the pandemic, at the very least. There are also T-shirts to support the cause as well. Second is to keep Luke's Bar and Grill open and its employees still working in these scary times. It is a win-win providing meals and keeping people employed.”

Jim Leyritz, a former professional baseball catcher and infielder, helped the effort.

“Why don’t we do a show and bring on players and entertain people who are missing baseball and raise some money?” Leyritz said about joining in.

He noted they are auctioning extra memorabilia “to feed these people who are risking their lives every day.”

He said: “I was inspired to do this because we couldn’t be there in person to help and this way we could make a difference. … It has been a blessing for all of us to be able to help out any way we can during these times. As we always say NEW YORK STRONG.”

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That’s a sentiment Walsh would cosign as well.

“New Yorkers are tough and have been through so much over the years. Everyone is different but us as New Yorkers circle around each other and help each other out in times of needs. You see people talking in the streets and say hello in passing. On a busy normal day in New York before this, your head is down and you are rushing to get to where you are going. We can now get all of our essentials in the grocery store and pharmacies. The only thing is still the Lysol you cant find anywhere,” he noted about the city during the pandemic.

Mike "Red" Walsh, far right, said the group Feeding The Front Lines / NYC Stronger Together has raised about $50,000 since St. Patrick's Day. (Mike "Red" Walsh)

Mike "Red" Walsh, far right, said the group Feeding The Front Lines / NYC Stronger Together has raised about $50,000 since St. Patrick's Day. (Mike "Red" Walsh)

He added: “The nights are the most eerie, so quiet. … The nights are so quiet and now that is what nights sound like in NYC. No horns, sirens, dump trucks, people yelling in streets.  Just plain silence when my wife and I go to bed with the windows open.  Some people are intimidated with NY and ask me how can you live there.  I tell them if you breakdown a five-block radius from your apartment is it like a little city.  You have your post office, pharmacy, supermarket, dry cleaner, bodega that you walk to every day and get to know the people of your neighborhood just like your town. We all come together in times like this to make NYC stronger.”