Jul 19, 2013, 4:00 PM EST
The All-Star Game is welcome break for some, and a dream-come-true for others who get to participate in the game or home-run derby.
But for Mets starting pitcher Jeremy Hefner, it was neither.
Hefner (4-6, 3.33), who starts for the Mets tonight against the Phillies in the first game back from the break, spent his days off this week making his first visit back to his hometown of Moore, Okla., which was leveled by a tornado in late May.
Officially, 23 deaths were blamed on the twister, which touched down on the afternoon of May 20 and cut a 17-mile- long path through parts of the heavily populated town. At its most ferocious stage, it stretched to a width of 1.3 miles and packed winds upward of 200 mph.
In 39 excruciating minutes, the disaster caused damages estimated in excess of $2 billion.
None of Hefner’s family members, lost their lives, although according to the NewsDay piece, his cousin is still trying to repair his kitchen, which was demolished by a tree that fell on his house.
“It’s frustrating because you do the right thing, you pay your bills on time, you raise your family the right way and bad things happen, unforeseen things happen,” Hefner said. “And it’s frustrating because these are good people and they don’t deserve it. It’s not just my cousin, but all the people there.”
In the event you live in New York, or will for any reason find yourself in Manhattan this weekend, Foley’s Pub and Restaurant on West 33rd St. has been selling the “405 Burger,” named after Moore’s area code, with proceeds going to the tornado relief efforts.
Hefner will pitch tonight, but on Saturday night, he’ll be at Foley’s from 7 to 9 p.m. to sign autographs on the final night the 405 burger will on the menu.
Said Hefner: “This is just kind of a last-ditch effort to get as much money as possible for the people [of Moore].”
If you’re not in Manhattan to buy the burger, this page over at NewsOK details the other ways you can donate to the relief fund.
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