HOMESTEAD, Fla. -- It was a good thing for the Yankees that it was only their general manager and not their shortstop who jumped out of an airplane Monday morning because the result was a broken right fibula and a dislocated right ankle.
GM Brian Cashman, who went skydiving in part for the thrill of it, but also to support the Army's Wounded Warrior Project, was supposed to make one jump in tandem with Sgt. 1st Class Noah Watts of the U.S. Army Golden Knights at the Air Reserve Base. But he loved it so much he made a second, unscheduled leap, and that's when he got hurt.
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"It was exhilarating. It was amazing," Cashman, 45, said after his first dive. "Jumping out of that plane was like nothing I can even describe. It was all really fast. You could feel it."
And after the second?
"It was awesome," Cashman said via text message.
Watts has made about 3,500 jumps in his career, including 800 in tandem, and Monday's first landing was smooth.
Cashman could certainly feel the second jump because that is when he said he felt a "pop" in his ankle, according to Golden Knights videographer Michael Battise. Cashman found out later about the extent of the damage. Dr. Dominic Carreira was scheduled to perform the surgery Monday at Broward Health Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale.
Before the first jump, Cashman said, he was "nervous" when Watts "walked me to the edge, and the wind was blowing, and we were 12,500 feet up."
Watts said they were actually 13,650 feet up, and they did a free fall for 48 seconds, with an average speed of 129 mph.
Cashman was asked after his first dive if he would do it again, and he had a quick reply.
"With these guys," he said, referring to the Golden Knights, "I'd do it anytime."
The Golden Knights have a long history with Cashman's team, flying into Yankee Stadium and hitting their precise marks dozens of times over the years. They are also experienced jumping with celebrities, including golfer Tiger Woods, actor Bill Murray, race car driver Tony Stewart and President George H.W. Bush.
"While I certainly didn't intend to raise awareness in exactly this fashion, I'm extremely happy that the Wounded Warrior Project is getting the well-deserved additional attention," Cashman said in a statement. For the past several years, Cashman also has rappelled down a building in Stamford, Conn., in the offseason as part of the city's Heights and Lights holiday festivities.
With Erik Boland