Yankees most recent offseason signing is ... an environmental scientist?!?

The New York Yankees, never a team to be behind the curve, just made a hire that is the first of its kind in professional sports. And no, it’s not Bryce Harper to a $400 million contract.

The Yankees announced Tuesday that they’ve brought on an environmental scientist whose appointment, according to a team statement, “represents a defining moment in the team’s decades-long commitment to sustainability, and serves to deepen an existing dedication to environmentally-friendly practices and community-wide awareness.”

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The scientist is Dr. Allen Hershkowitz, who will be the Yankees’ environmental science advisor, a role that was created for him. He previously worked for 26 years as a senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council. He was also the co-founder and past President of the Green Sports Alliance, and in that role advised all the major pro sports leagues in the U.S. about sustainable practices.

The Yankees have hired an environmental scientist to help keep their organization and their stadium more sustainable. (Getty Images)
The Yankees have hired an environmental scientist to help keep their organization and their stadium more sustainable. (Getty Images)

While this is the first hire of its type in pro sports, it’s certainly not the first move of its type by sports teams to either be more environmentally friendly or get a little green. The San Francisco Giants, for instance, have a garden in their outfield where food is grown, then served and fans can learn about the process.

“The Yankees have always been devoted to supporting the best interests of our community, our fans and our players, and we believe effective eco-friendly initiatives are a key element of our interactions,” Hal Steinbrenner, the Yankees’ principal owner and managing general partner, said in a statement. “We have made significant strides throughout the years, and as such, Yankee Stadium is proud to promote a zero-waste economy, and stand as one of the most successful recycling and composting venues in all of sports. At present, approximately 85 percent of our waste is diverted away from landfills by an active commitment to composting and recycling, and we look forward to even more improvement under Allen’s guidance.”

Seems like a meaningful addition for the Yankees. Now can Hershkowitz work up a report about the environmental impact of signing Bryce Harper or Manny Machado?

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Mike Oz is a writer at Yahoo Sports. Contact him at or follow him on Twitter!

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