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Yankees' benefit raises thousands for radio producer

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NEW YORK -- The Yankees hit one out of the park Monday for Carlos Silva, a veteran producer and engineer for the club's radio broadcasts who is battling esophageal and stomach cancer.

About 150 fans turned out for a Hot Stove Q&A at the Hard Rock Cafe in Times Square, raising in excess of $20,000 for Silva, a fixture in the Yankee Stadium press box who assists announcers John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman on a daily basis during the season.

"A tremendous family man, a tremendous employee," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "He's with us all the time; he's on our charters and we see him all the time in the lobby of the hotels. He's part of the family. He's going through a difficult time and we're going to help him."

Silva was unable to attend the event, but he tweeted from Florida, "Thanks to all in New York for helping me and my family. Good luck and God bless you all."

Sterling and Waldman served as the hosts for the event, which was also attended by general manager Brian Cashman, manager Joe Girardi, first baseman Mark Teixeira and closer Mariano Rivera. Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News also served on the panel.

"I went through this. I know what chemotherapy is like," Waldman said. "Having cancer is terrifying. It's more terrifying when you don't have the money to pay for the treatments, and this helps. You want to help somebody like that. George Steinbrenner talked about the Yankee family, it's real, and this is it."

In one of the highlights of the evening, Rivera donned a Yankees jersey and assumed the role of an auctioneer, helping spur bidding into the thousands of dollars. A silent auction was also held, and the Yankees also conducted an online auction at http://yankees.com/auction.

Silva has worked on Yankees games since 2006 and plans to rejoin the traveling party in time for WCBS' first broadcasts from Spring Training in Tampa, Fla.

"He loves the game and you can see his enthusiasm for the game," Girardi said. "He probably takes losses as hard as anyone when it comes to Yankee baseball. I've never seen Carlos not have a smile on his face, and that's the kind of guy he is."

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