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New York Yankees Begin 4th Annual HOPE Week

Mark Teixeira helps Owen Adkins on a horse at Van Cortlandt Park as part of HOPE Week - Bronx, NY - Jun 25, 2012 (credit: Marla Diamond / WCBS 880)

Mark Teixeira helps Owen Adkins on a horse at Van Cortlandt Park as part of HOPE Week – Bronx, NY – Jun 25, 2012 (credit: Marla Diamond / WCBS 880)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - All of the New York Yankees players and coaches will be taking time out of their busy schedules to honor several special people and charitable organizations this week, WCBS 880′s Marla Diamond reported.

WCBS 880′s Marla Diamond On The Story

It’s the team’s fourth annual HOPE Week.

“For five straight days, we go out into our community and we try and recognize and celebrate some pretty powerful and inspiring stories,” team spokesman Jason Zillo told Diamond.

The effort really does include everbody from Manager Joe Girardi and General Manager Brian Cashman on down to the entire roster.

“A guy in Queens who’s made it his passion to give back and give food to people who can’t afford to eat. You know, these are people that they sometimes go under the radar and, you know, we use our platform to kind of bring attention to their stories because they are inspiring and the idea is that you pay it forward and people join this movement,” Zillo said.

“The idea is to kind of sneak up a little bit on some of our honorees and give them a day that they probably didn’t dream possible,” Zillo said.

Also among this year’s honorees are a group of teens who give free manicures to nursing home patients on Long Island and a five-year-old New Jersey boy who is blind, but loves to play baseball.

“As memorable as these days are for some of the recipients, we take just as much out of it being able to go out in our community and bring smiles to people’s faces,” Zillo said.

WCBS 880′s Marla Diamond In The Bronx

The team started HOPE Week off at Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx, where the Flying Manes program uses horses to help children with a variety of special needs – both physical and emotional.

The late George Steinbrenner's daughter Jenny attends a HOPE Week event at Van Cortlandt Park - Bronx, NY - Jun 25, 2012 (credit: Marla Diamond / WCBS 880)

The late George Steinbrenner’s daughter Jenny attends a HOPE Week event at Van Cortlandt Park – Bronx, NY – Jun 25, 2012 (credit: Marla Diamond / WCBS 880)

“Teaches them that they can speak up and express what it is they want and that the horses will always listen,” program founder Stefanie Dwyer told Diamond.

On Monday, the children got a visit from Mark Teixeira, Eric Chavez, and Jayson Nix.

As Cerebral Palsey patient Owen Adkins was led around on a horse by Teixeira, the two bonded over baseball.

It was hard to tell who got more out of the event, reported Diamond.

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