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Yankees-clad Philadelphia produce men pay off World Series bet with New York

by Tad Thompson | November 11, 2009
PHILADELPHIA -- On Nov. 10, as an emerging sun lit the sky to a grayish- pink over the east side of the Philadelphia Regional Produce Market, John Vena and Dan Kane closed the doors of a refrigerated container. It was the Philadelphia market's payment on a World Series wager with the New York Hunts Point Terminal Market.

Mr. Vena is the Philadelphia terminal's marketing committee manager and owns John Vena Inc. Mr. Kane is the assistant manager of the Philadelphia Regional Produce Market.

The New York Yankees clinched their 27th World Series championship with a decisive win over the Philadelphia Phillies Nov. 4. To make good on the bet between the two markets, the Philadelphia market donated one truckload of produce to Food Bank for New York City. As part of the bet, Mr. Vena, Mr. Kane and Chickie Curtin, manager of Quaker City Trucking Co., joined others on the market in wearing Yankees apparel while loading 20 pallets of fresh produce for New York City's Food Bank.

Mr. Vena joked that he was happy to be involved in helping the poor, but that wearing the Yankees gear was a painful experience.

The truck was festooned with Yankees signs as it was loaded for the Hunts Point Terminal Market. The truck and trailer were owned by Quaker City Produce Co., which was the assembly point for the Philadelphia shipment. Mr. Vena worked with Mr. Curtin to organize the trailer, which was to leave shortly after 7 a.m.

According to a joint press release from the two markets, while New York City's Hunts Point Terminal Market has the bragging rights, Philadelphia and New York agreed that food banks in both cities will make out on this deal. Understanding the ever-growing need for food and in the spirit of good sportsmanship, Sonny DiCrecchio, executive director of Philadelphia Regional Produce Market, and Matthew D'Arrigo, co-president of the Hunts Point Terminal Market, arranged that Philabundance in Philadelphia would receive a truckload of produce from the Hunts Point market.

It is about 120 miles between the two markets.

The press release continued: "Each year, approximately 8 million pounds of food is donated by both produce markets to feed those in need. Organizations that have received the help are New York's City Harvest Inc.; Food Bank for New York City; Philabundance; and various schools, food pantries, shelters and nonprofits.

"Ranking number one in volume, the Hunts Point Terminal Market is the world's largest wholesale market," the release continued. "Philadelphia Regional Produce Market is the second largest produce terminal in the United States."