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Sandy brings 'Coney' from booth to bar

YES analyst serves as guest bartender for storm benefit at NYC pub
11/16/2012 1:35 PM ET
By Jon Lane

David Cone teamed up with Cecil Fielder and Joe McEwing to raise money for Hurricane Sandy victims. (AP)
David Cone took it as a call to arms, a personal challenge to step out of his element as a Yankees on YES analyst to pitch in another big game. The one-time Major League star who won 194 Major League games for the Yankees, Mets, Royals, Blue Jays and Red Sox was once again a hired gun -- not for a World Series, but for his presence and amateur bartending skills to raise $8,000 for a Thursday night fundraiser at Foley’s Irish Pub in New York to aid victims of Hurricane Sandy.

“This actually originated on Twitter, and I really got challenged; I got called out,” Cone said in reference to how social media efforts led him to Foley’s owner Shaun Clancy and the idea for the benefit. “When you get called out and get challenged you have to step up.”

Cone not only pitched another perfect game, he hit one out of the park, drawing a crowd so large that people were forced to wait outside to gain entry. By night’s end, Cone, along with White Sox first base coach Joe McEwing, former Yankee Cecil Fielder, and FOX reporters Duke Castiglione and Steve Lacy, had raised a large sum of money through alcohol sales and tips. In addition, proceeds from photographs signed by Cone at $50 per person went towards the cause.

Cone, who lives on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, was one of the fortunate ones who never lost power and whose property suffered no damage. He does, however, have a lot of friends downtown and on the Jersey Shore that were greatly affected “far, far worse than we ever thought it would be.” The road to recovery may be long, but various outlets for escape make a world of difference.

“We’re very fortunate as athletes to be put in a position where we’re able to give back, to take a couple of hours of people's minds so they can relax, have fun and enjoy,” McEwing said. “It’s definitely a plus to be able to give back in any possible way.”

In addition to Foley’s, many around the metropolitan area have stepped up their fundraising endeavors. The New York Islanders hosted an open skate last week, collecting monetary donations, clothes and food for local victims. Members of the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers are joining other locked out NHL players for a charity game called “Operation Hat Trick” on November 24 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City to raise funds for the American Red Cross, the New Jersey Hurricane Relief Fund and the Empire State Fund.

And, on December 12, Madison Square Garden is hosting a benefit concert (“12-12-12”) featuring Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, Kanye West, Billy Joel, The Who, Alicia Keys, Jon Bon Jovi and many others for the Robin Hood Relief Fund.

“It’s great just to see how everybody is helping out in their own walks of life,” Cone said. “Whether it’s Foley’s in a bar or creative events all around the area, people are coming up with ways to raise money and to pitch in. I think it’s fantastic that everybody’s got their own little niche. They can do their specialty and raise money.”

Follow Jon Lane on Twitter: @JonLaneNYC

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