Wife of Rabbi Avi Weiss Saved After Choking at Yankee Stadium


avi-weiss-wifeBill Hutchinson reports in the NY Daily News: He’s a true angel out of left field. An Army medic who served in Iraq became a hero in the stands at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday when he saved aBronx rabbi’s wife choking on a piece of kosher London broil.

John Stone, 38, of Montville, Conn., sprang into action when he spotted Toby Weiss gagging about 15 rows in front of him in the section behind home plate.

“It was a very big scare. Toby’s life was saved by a man who really, for us, is a great hero,” said Rabbi Avi Weiss of the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale.

“There were a bunch of people around her and I thought they had it under control,” Stone told the Daily News. “But when I looked closer, it was evident they didn’t.

“Basically, I just went down there and told the guy working on her that I’m an Army medic,” said Stone, a staff sergeant with the Connecticut National Guard.

As the choking woman began to turn blue, the attention of fans turned from baseball to the rescuer in a jersey performing the Heimlich maneuver in the stands.

“I stepped behind her, gave her about five or six abdominal thrusts and eventually she coughed up whatever she was choking on,” Stone said.

Toby Weiss was checked out at a Stadium first-aid station as a precaution and returned to her seat to thank Stone. “I said to him, ‘I’m a big Yankee fan, but I really didn’t want to die in Yankee Stadium,'” she said.

Rabbi Weiss said other people rushed to help his wife. “People tried very hard to do the Heimlich maneuver, but it just wasn’t working and it was getting desperate,” he said. “Suddenly this kind of Elijah figure appeared from nowhere. He knew exactly what to do.”

Following the scare, fans applauded, hugged and high-fived Stone on his way back up to his seat. Stone was at the Stadium with his brother Jamie, an Army infantry soldier on leave from duty in Afghanistan.

Word of the heroics quickly spread to Yankee honchos, who gave Stone gift bags and moved him, his brother and his brother’s friend down to the first row of the Legends section, where seats normally go for about $1,250 each.

Though Stone treated much more serious battle wounds during his tour of duty in Iraq in 2004 and 2005, he never performed the Heimlich maneuver for real until yesterday.

“I treated soldiers a lot worse than her, but this is the first time I’ve ever done it in the civilian world,” Stone said. “I’m just happy that lady is okay.”

Stone said he can’t help but think he was destined to be at yesterday’s game, his first visit to the new Yankee Stadium.

“I’ve been a Yankee fan my whole life,” said Stone, proudly wearing his pinstripes and a University of Maine cap. “I’m kind of still in shock about everything that went on.”

{NY Daily News/Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. #2, How offensive to say this about someone almost dying. Aren’t you worried about what “above” might do to you for your callousness? You should be.

  2. Should this cause us to rethink our opposition to his policies? Obviously this is a Moifes that only someone with a lot of Zechusim could accomplish!

  3. For you non Baseball fans, try going to a game once. There are several Glatt hot dog stands at the new Yankee Stadium and Mincha is said during daygames and Maariv at night. There is a world outside the ghetto and don’t be afraid to step inside it before being so critical.

  4. Boruch Hashem! It’s not who wins the game that matters but people like soldier Stone. Thank you, Mr. Stone for stepping up to the plate.
    In this time of sefira, we should have more ahavas Yisrael, even for a Jew who has too much ahavas Yisrael that he ignores Jewish tradition and standards such as Rabbi Weiss.

  5. Nu, is this not min hashamayim that the Yanks are going all the way this year. The Ribbono SHel Olam would never allow a yid to be niftar in Yankee Stadium as it would be an ayin harrah for the rest of the season. No doubt the entire Stadium has the zchus of hashgachos protis. See you in October!

  6. yankee stadium is very nice and a great way to take a break from everyday life. also hashem is always watching over us.

  7. i think everyone here is missing the main message from above, baseball gloves may contain shatnez and must be checked.come to think of it, it was always the very frum kids in camp who played right field without a glove.