NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Yankees captain Derek Jeter personally offered his condolences this week to the mother of Sandy Hook Elementary School teacher Victoria Soto.
Soto, 27, has been hailed a hero for trying to shield her students from the gunfire when shooter Adam Lanza burst into her classroom Friday morning. She was among the 26 victims — 20 children, six school officials — at SHES.
“Vicki loved the Yankees — that was part of her eulogy,” Soto’s cousin, James Wiltsie, told the New York Daily News. “No one in the family reached out, so (Jeter) must have heard about it and … reached out.”
Jeter’s call to Donna Soto came on Wednesday, the same day her daughter was laid to rest after last week’s massacre in Newtown, Conn.
Wiltsie said Donna “spoke to him for quite some time.”
“It was a surprise and unexpected,” Wiltsie told the Daily News. “Donna was ecstatic over it and very happy.”
Victoria’s sister, Carlee Soto, whose image of unimaginable grief has come to symbolize the horror of that day, thanked Jeter and the Yankees organization.
“Derek Jeter just called my mom!!!!!” she tweeted. “Thanks Vicki, she needs it thank you @yankees this meant a lot to my mother and all of us.”
Athletes all over the country have been offering their support in the wake of last week’s tragedy. Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz visited the family of Jack Pinto this week, days after honoring the 6-year-old victim on his game-worn cleats.
On Friday, the Yankees and Major League Baseball observed in a national moment of silence for the 26 victims.
“One week ago today, tragedy struck at Sandy Hook Elementary School,” a message read at 9:30 a.m. ET on all MLB websites, flanked by two ribbons on a white background. “Please join MLB in a moment of silence to honor the lives lost, their loved ones and all the innocent victims.”
The moment was also observed on WFAN sports radio in New York.
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