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Wednesday, April 08, 2020

Ripken heads charity campaign, longs for baseball’s return

BALTIMORE (AP) — Cal Ripken Jr. has launched a campaign to help feed children and families across the country during the COVID-19 pandemic, coordinating a contribution of $250,000 and opening a social media account for the first time to promote the cause.

Ripken spent his entire career with the Baltimore Orioles before retiring in 2001. He set a record by playing in 2,632 consecutive games and gained entry into the Hall of Fame in 2007.

His current focus is helping feed families impacted financially by the coronavirus, but he’s also looking forward to a time when baseball teams are back on the diamond. Ripken is encouraged by the effort of Major League Baseball to devise a plan to start the delayed season, suggesting that the games “can play an important part in the recovery of the country.”

In an interview with The Associated Press on Tuesday, Ripken recalled how the resumption of the baseball season helped the nation rebound from the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

 

QLE Posted: April 08, 2020 at 01:03 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cal ripken jr, charity

Sunday, April 05, 2020

Astros’ Justin Verlander to donate paychecks to help people impacted by coronavirus

Astros ace Justin Verlander announced on Saturday he will donate all of his paychecks during baseball’s shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Verlander and his wife, Kate Upton, revealed their plan via an Instagram video. The couple said they’ll choose an organization each week to donate an entire week’s paycheck. They plan to highlight the group’s contributions to the coronavirus pandemic, too.

“Obviously this is an extremely difficult time for the entire world,” Verlander said. “There’s so many people that are in need, whether it’s the people on the front lines battling this disease head-on or someone who is at home and has lost their job and needs to provide basic necessities.”

 

QLE Posted: April 05, 2020 at 12:39 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: charity, justin verlander

Friday, April 03, 2020

Yankees, NYCFC organize $1.4M relief fund

TAMPA, Fla.—The Yankees and the New York City Football Club announced on Thursday that they have created the New York Yankees COVID-19 Disaster Relief Program, a $1.4 million distress fund for Yankee Stadium employees impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

The needs-based grant initiative has been created to provide assistance for eligible full-time and part-time game day staff, including those working for the Yankees, Legends Hospitality and the New York City Football Club (NYCFC). The grants are intended to ease the burden caused by the pandemic associated with essential expenses such as food, medical care, shelter and other basic needs.

 

QLE Posted: April 03, 2020 at 12:54 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: charity, yankees

Bryce Harper, wife Kayla donate $500,000 to coronavirus relief

Bryce Harper donated $500,000 on Thursday toward coronavirus relief in Las Vegas and Philadelphia, the two cities the Phillies star considers to be home.

Harper and his wife, Kayla, donated to Direct Relief and Three Square in Las Vegas and Philabundance in Philadelphia. Direct Relief is a nonprofit humanitarian aid organization with a mission to improve the health and lives of people affected by poverty or emergencies. Three Square is a food bank that provides more than 41 million meals per year throughout Southern Nevada. Philabundance is the largest food bank in the Philadelphia region and serves more than 24 million pounds of food a year to those in need.

“Las Vegas will always be my family’s first home,” Harper said. “Philadelphia, our home away from home, welcomed us with open arms from day one. These communities mean so much to us, and Kayla and I want to do our part to help battle the effects of the virus in Vegas and Philly.”

Harper returned last month to Las Vegas after spring training was canceled and the start of the regular season was suspended. It is unclear when (or if) baseball will be played in 2020. In the meantime, Harper is working out at home — including pushing a weighted sled in the street — and spending time with his 7-month-old son, Krew.

 

QLE Posted: April 03, 2020 at 12:51 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: bryce harper, charity, coronavirus

Thursday, April 02, 2020

Shin-Soo Choo donating funds to Rangers minor leaguers

Rangers veteran Shin-Soo Choo is helping out financially strapped minor league players with the season on hold, giving $1,000 each to 191 of them who are in the Texas organization.

Choo, 37, said Wednesday that he remembers the financial struggles when he was in the minors. The outfielder-designated hitter hopes the gifts will help ease those worries for the current minor leaguers, most of whom he has never met, allowing them to stay focused on their baseball careers instead of having to figure out ways to make money.

“I’ve done it before, minor leagues, seven years,” said Choo, who was 18 when he left South Korea to join the Seattle Mariners organization before the 2001 season. “I know right now the minor league system is better than 15-20 years ago, but still tough. Everything’s very difficult, especially money-wise.”

Choo is now going into the final year of a $130 million, seven-year deal he signed as a free agent with the Rangers. He is set to be the highest-paid Texas player this season at $21 million.

 

QLE Posted: April 02, 2020 at 01:19 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: charity, minor leaguers, rangers, shin-soo choo

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Ex-MLB All-Star Dan Haren to Auction off Bobbleheads for COVID-19 Relief Funds

Former MLB pitcher Dan Haren is doing what he can to help those dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.

According to Molly Knight of The Athletic, he is auctioning off some of his bobblehead collection, which includes more than 300 figurines. What’s more, he is including personalized notes about the players with each one, including a reveal he once hit Vladimir Guerrero on purpose and was caught by Albert Pujols playing Pokemon Go. 

Haren is auctioning bobbleheads such as Hank Aaron, Barry Bonds, Derek Jeter, Reggie Jackson, Manny Ramirez, Cy Young, Frank Thomas and Mike Piazza, among many more.

 

QLE Posted: March 26, 2020 at 12:43 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: auction, bobbleheads, charity, coronavirus, dan haren

Friday, March 20, 2020

’42 AL All-Stars Do Double Duty

Most seamheads will recall that once upon a time (namely 1959 to 1962) there were two major league All-Star games. The reason – no surprise – was to make more money. But it was for a good cause, the Players Pension Fund, so griping was minimal. The same was true in the war year 1942 when the American League played two All-Star games – on consecutive days – for a good cause.

The regularly scheduled major league All-Star game was played on Monday, July 6 at the Polo Grounds in New York, with proceeds going to the Army-Navy Relief Fund and the Bat and Ball Fund (a charity that provided baseball equipment for servicemen). As with every All-Star game, before and since, it was well chronicled. The second game, for the benefit of the same charities, was played the next night at Cleveland Stadium. Better known as Municipal Stadium in later years, cavernous Cleveland Stadium had already hosted the 1935 All-Star game and would do so again in 1954, 1960, 1963, and 1981.

The presence of Indian All-Stars Ken Keltner, Lou Boudreau, and Jim Bagby on the AL squad doubtless attracted the Cleveland faithful, but the hometown heroes’ appearance was not assured until the conclusion of the Polo Grounds contest, as the winner of that game would move on to Cleveland for the second game. The competition in that game would be provided by a team of former professional players who were serving in the Army and Navy. This second game was not as well chronicled as the “official” All-Star Game but it drew almost twice as many fans.

As it turned out, the Polo Grounds game was something of a quasi-last hurrah for serious All-Star competition, as 14 of the 50 players on the two squads would be in the military when the 1943 game was played in Philadelphia. The game itself was not one of the more memorable contests in All-Star history. The AL scored three runs (a solo homer by Lou Boudreau and a two-run shot by Rudy York) in the top of the first inning and never looked back. Final score: AL 3, NL 1. A pinch-hit homer by Mickey Owen (he hit none during the regular season) accounted for the only NL run.

 

QLE Posted: March 20, 2020 at 01:03 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: all stars, american league, charity, cleveland, service team

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

‘Adopt a Minor Leaguer’ Program Gives Players a Lifeline as MLB Shuts Down

When Michael Rivers started the “Adopt a Minor Leaguer” program in February, he only planned to assist with food and cash over long seasons of low pay. Now, a month later, his work looks different—providing a lifeline to players who were sent home from camp amid a global pandemic, with no idea when they’ll receive their next paycheck, and no sense of when they’ll be allowed to return.

As the novel coronavirus outbreak has shut down baseball, MiLB players have been thrust into a difficult situation. They already face frustratingly low pay during the season and no pay at all during spring training. But now they’ve been ordered home—difficult in itself, for foreign players who worry about potential future travel restrictions—where they must remain in playing shape and figure out a way to pay their bills. With no idea of when they will be called back to camp, they can’t easily seek immediate work at home, and they can’t file for unemployment benefits while still under contract with their clubs. Teams have not stepped in to pay. So fans have answered with the ultimate modern solution: They’re crowdfunding. And, in a particularly unflattering statement on the quality of life in the minors, the crowdfunded efforts to pay players in a pandemic aren’t new. They’re the ones that already existed to pay players under previous conditions.

Rivers, 39, lives in Eagan, Minn., with his wife and two children. Before Adopt a Minor Leaguer, he had no previous involvement with baseball beyond his fandom (Twins), but after a painful winter, he was in search of anything to make him feel better. His father was diagnosed with lung cancer in November and learned that it had spread in January. In the days that followed, Rivers wanted to find a distraction. So he landed on Twitter, where he saw former Twins farmhand Todd van Steensel, now in indy ball, posting about the difficulties of his seven years in the minors.

“I started to see more about the truth about what minor leaguers don’t get paid, that they don’t get paid for spring training, and they get paid very little during the season,” says Rivers. “And at that point, I was like—giving always makes you feel better.”

 

QLE Posted: March 18, 2020 at 12:54 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: charity, coronavirus, minor leaguers

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

MLB, MLBPA give $1M to help feed the hungry

The coronavirus pandemic has created a threat of a different sort: Hunger. With public schools closing across the country and people isolating themselves at home, those in need have increased difficulty getting food.

As announced on Monday, Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association have teamed up to help ease that burden with a combined $1 million donation that will be split evenly between Feeding America (FeedingAmerica.org) and Meals on Wheels America (MealsonWheelsAmerica.org).

“In these difficult times of navigating this pandemic, it is important that we come together as a society to help the most vulnerable members of our communities,” Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a release. “As an institution, Baseball is extending our commitment to addressing childhood hunger and food availability issues during this crisis. We are grateful for the partnership with our players on this critical issue, which has the potential to deeply affect children and seniors.”

Feeding America will distribute funds to local member food banks in high-need areas across the United States to help feed children and families impacted by school closures and other disruptions.

 

QLE Posted: March 17, 2020 at 12:35 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: charity, mlb, mlbpa

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Astros stars take charge as MLB gives back during coronavirus shutdown

With the sports world effectively shut down due to the coronavirus outbreak, professional athletes have been stepping up to help aid stadium workers and others who need a helping hand.

Those acts of kindness extend into the baseball world.

George Springer donates $100,000 to stadium workers

Among the first Major League Baseball players to pledge a donation is Houston Astros outfielder George Springer. The 2017 World Series MVP told Mark Berman of KRIV Fox 26 in Houston that he will donate $100,000 to displaced stadium workers at Minute Maid Park.

 

 

QLE Posted: March 15, 2020 at 01:32 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: alex bregman, charity, coronavirus, george springer, trevor bauer

Friday, February 14, 2020

MLB, MLBPA make 2nd $1M donation to Negro Leagues Museum

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Major League Baseball celebrated the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Negro National League by joining with the Major League Baseball Players Association to announce their second joint $1 million donation to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum,

“It commemorates baseball history, and it’s a tribute to African-American entrepreneurship in the culture that existed at the time,” baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said Thursday.

The privately financed museum was founded in 1990 and moved into its current facility in 1994. The Negro National League, the first Negro major league, was founded by eight entrepreneurs at the Paseo YMCA in the eastern part of Kansas City.

Part of the donation will be used to help renovate the YMCA building that will house the Buck O’Neil Education and Research Center. The museum had spent more than $100,000 on the renovation when the building was damaged in 2018.

 

 

QLE Posted: February 14, 2020 at 01:05 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: charity, mlb, mlbpa, negro league baseball museum

Tuesday, February 04, 2020

Stoneman Douglas names baseball field after Chicago Cubs star Anthony Rizzo after premiering field’s

Standing near the pitcher’s mound of his old baseball diamond, Anthony Rizzo recounted how he was cut from the Stoneman Douglas varsity baseball team.

Despite the discouraging demotion to junior varsity, Rizzo did make the Eagles’ varsity squad eventually. He was later drafted by the Boston Red Sox and became a star for the Chicago Cubs.

Now one of Major League Baseball’s top first basemen, Rizzo found a way to give back to his alma mater. The former Douglas star donated $150,000 and helped raise additional funds so the school could install lights for the baseball and softball fields.

On Monday, the school debuted the lights and named the baseball field Anthony Rizzo Field.

 

QLE Posted: February 04, 2020 at 01:09 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: anthony rizzo, charity, high school baseball

 

 

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