Coney recovery effort drafts Johan Santana

Coney recovery effort drafts Johan Santana
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

Talk about making an assist!

Mets pitching ace and one-time Brooklyn Cyclone Johan Santana and chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon spent some of the offseason lending a hand — and an arm — when they became relievers for a day, handing out lunches to needy hurricane victims, in Coney Island on Nov. 13.

Wilpon and No-han swung by the People’s Playground to hand out the lunches first at Our Lady of Solace Church on W. 17th Street and Mermaid Avenue and second at Coney Island Gospel Assembly on W. 29th Street and Neptune Avenue, before they both headed home. Santana followed up his volunteer effort with a $25,000 donation to the official rebuilding effort, Coney Recovers.

The Amazins’ ball club said the two wound up in Coney on their own initiative.

“The guys decided they wanted to go out and help out on their own, because it was close to home,” said Mets spokesman Troy Watson, who recalled that Santana had pitched just blocks away at MCU Park in August, when the two-time Cy Young Award Winner was coming off the disabled list following an ankle sprain.

Coney Recovers — a project of the newly formed business group The Alliance for Coney Island — applauded the way Wilpon and Santana took the mound for their team, and the Venezuelan southpaw’s moneyball.

“The fact that he not only came down to meet with families affected by the hurricane and made a donation to the recovery effort shows he is just as much a great individual as he is a talented pitcher,” said spokesman Kenneth Hochman. “Things are going to get better in Coney Island because of organizations like the Mets and people like Johan Santana and Jeff Wilpon.”

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at (718) 260–4507 or e-mail him at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/WillBredderman