HOPE Week is a Yankees tradition that started in 2009, the HOPE in Hope Week stands for Helping Others Persevere & Excel. It involves the Yankees carving out one week each summer to highlight worthy charities and donate $10,000 to their causes. With the 10th installment of Hope Week coming to a close on Friday, the Yankees have donated $500,000 and raised awareness for many great organizations.
The players seem to enjoy Hope Week more than any of us. You can tell by the smiles on their faces and the way they interact with the people they help, but also by their record in games played during Hope Week. The Yankees have played 46 games during Hope Week, in those games they are 33-13 with a +64 run differential. That’s a .717 winning %, or a 116 win pace.
After a decade of Hope Week, I think it’s worth a look back at the Yankees’ excellence both on and off the field.
The eventual World Series champions went 5-0 in the inaugural Hope Week, sweeping a three game set against the Orioles and taking the first two games of a series against the Athletics.
The first cause the Yankees chose was the Patchwork for Young Leaders Society, and Marco and Jennifer Chiappetta, who opened their home to mentor at-risk youth in the Washington Heights neighborhood. Coincidentally, this is where Dellin Betances is from.
The Yankees took three out of four from the Tigers, and got shut out by Felix Hernandez and the Mariners. After beating the Tigers 11-5, the Yankees played a second game in which each player and coach was paired with a member of The Beautiful People, an organization out of Warwick, New York that provides adaptive sports for special needs children. Even the bleacher creatures stuck around to cheer on the kids.
The Yankees were 2-2 against the Mariners and Mariners, arguably the worst on field performance during a Hope Week. On Wednesday, July 27 the Yankees honored Ss. Joachim and Anne’s School in Queens, New York, who took in 15 child refugees from Haiti, which suffered an earthquake in January of that year. The kids were treated to a day game against the Mariners, and afterwords got a tour of Manhattan, including Times Square and the Empire State Building. The tour was capped off by a surprise pizza party with Derek Jeter.
The Yankees swept the Indians and drop the first two games of a series against the White Sox. The first day of 2012’s Hope Week honored a therapeutic horseback riding organization called Flying Manes. This one hit’s particularly close to home for me, personally. I grew up down the street from a similar organization called High Hopes, and my older sister has worked there her entire life. I’ve seen firsthand all the great things that these organizations can do for children with emotional and physical disabilities.
The Yankees split a four-game set with the Royals followed by Hiroki Kuroda and Mariano Rivera highlighting a shutout of The Twins. In 2013 the Yankees honored Stand For The Silent, an anti-bullying organization started by Kirk and Laura Smalley, whose 11-year-old son took his own life as a result of bullying in 2010.
The Yankees enjoyed an off-day on Monday, then swept the Blue Jays in three games, followed by a victory against the Orioles. Before the Yankees beat the Blue Jays 6-4, they visited the Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital at NewYork-Presbyterian where they teamed with Musicians On Call, an organization that provides volunteer musicians for hospital visits. The kids were treated to a concert headlined by Yankees legend and Latin Grammy nominee Bernie Williams.
The Yankees swept a three-game series against the Twins (big surprise), and dropped the first 2 games against the Indians. In 2015, the Yankees saw some of the effects of their good deeds as they honored The Southern Boulevard School in Chatham Township, New Jersey. This school embraced the core concepts of Hope Week by sharing the belief that no one is too young to give back.
The Yankees achieved their second five-game Hope Week sweep in 2016, with four wins against the Angels, and one shutout of the Tigers thanks mostly to Hope Week veteran CC Sabathia. In 2016 the Yankees partnered with Barbershop Books, an organization started by Alvin Irby, which provides friendly reading spaces for children of color where children can practice their reading skills, or have books read to them in a safe environment.
In 2017 the Yankees fell victim to a postponed game and Sean Manaea, leading to another 2-2 Hope Week. In 2017 the Yankees honored Amy Pamiero-Winters who founded the One Step Ahead Foundation, which provides athletic opportunities for children with physical disabilities. The kids got a special message from former major league pitcher Jim Abbot, who famously threw a no-hitter for the Yanks in 1993 despite only having one hand.
The Yankees went 3-1 in the most recent edition of Hope Week, splitting a two-game set with the Nationals, then taking the first two games of a four-game set with the Rays. The week was highlighted by a sparkling major league debut from Jonathan Loaisiga.
On the first day of the 10th edition of Hope Week, the Yankees honored the Muddy Puddles Project. The organization was inspired by a boy named Ty Campbell, who loved Peppa Pig and dreamed of jumping in muddy puddles when his cancer was cured. The project is a vehicle to let kids be kids, all while raising money for childhood cancer research.
Here’s a link to every individual, family, and organization ever recognized by Hope Week. I highly recommend perusing the accompanying videos and articles. There’s something for everybody, and they’re all worthy of your support.