The jerseys hanging in the dugouts of the Arizona Diamondbacks and New York Mets on Monday had nothing to do with baseball. The No. 19 Yarnell jerseys weren't for a rookie you'd never heard of. Nor were they an inside-joke among players.
Instead, the jerseys were a tribute to the 19 firefighters who lost their lives Sunday while fighting a huge blaze near Yarnell, Ariz. The 19 men were an entire squad of the elite "hot shot" firefighters, who get dispatched to fight the toughest fires. This one, tragically, engulfed them.
For the Diamondbacks, who play about 80 miles away, this hit close to home, even though the team wasn't close to home. They were playing the Mets in New York — a city that knows all too well about fallen firefighters.
The @dbacks are grieving over the tragic loss of 19 heroic firefighters. Our AZ family is strong & sad. Prescott & Yarnell in our thoughts!
— Derrick Hall (@DHallDbacks) July 1, 2013
The Diamondbacks have started raising money for the fire victims on their website, and will match the donations. From the AP:
The Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation will match all donations made to dbacks.com up to $100,000. Donations of $19 or more will be entered for the opportunity to win a signed jersey with "Yarnell" and the No. 19 on the back.
Here's more about the "Yarnell 19" jerseys from MLB.com:
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