Yankees Honor James Gandolfini With Moment of Silence (Photo)
The New York Yankees are continuing to remember James Gandolfini in style.
After playing the theme song to HBO’s Sopranos during Wednesday night’s game, the team paid tribute to the late actor Thursday, June 20, ahead of its game against the Tampa Bay Rays.
A 2002 photo of Gandolfini waving from Yankee Stadium was displayed on the Jumbotron during a pregame moment of silence. That photo was taken when Gandolfini memorably read the lines from Lou Gehrig’s 1939 farewell speech. (See video below.) As several sports enthusiasts noted, Gandolfini died on what would have been Gehrig’s 110th birthday.
Major League Baseball’s official Twitter account shared a photo from the moment of silence Thursday.
Gandolfini was a well-known sports fan, and threw out the opening pitch at a Yankees game in 2002, along with several of his Sopranos costars. In addition to being spotted at games of the New York Jets, New York Rangers, and Los Angeles Kings, Gandolfini was also a strong supporter of his alma mater's, Rutgers University, football program.
In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, former Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano said Gandolfini was a “great supporter” of the program “long before it was fashionable to be so.”
“His generosity in helping us lent relevance to our football program at a time when it was desperately needed,” Schiano said. “In addition to his acting acclaim, he will be remembered by all Rutgers people as a compassionate alum and a great New Jerseyian.”
Fellow New Jersey native and Rutgers alum Cincinnati Reds player Todd Frazier changed his at-bat music to the Sopranos theme song Thursday in the late actor's honor.
Gandolfini, 51, died Wednesday, June 19, in Italy of an apparent heart attack. Watch him in 2002 at Yankee Stadium below.