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Friday, September 27, 2019

This Cubs pitcher is secretly one of MLB’s most charitable players

CHICAGO — In a small cubby just to the right of Jon Lester’s uniform, there sits an autographed baseball. The signature on the ball faces the clubhouse, giving anyone who walks by Lester’s locker an opportunity to see the name of a person Lester admires greatly.

The ball isn’t signed by an actor or musician. It’s not signed by one of Lester’s teammates, either. It’s signed by Ashlyn Clark, a 17-year-old softball player who hit her first home run this summer while undergoing treatments for Stage 4 Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. After seeing Clark’s story on Twitter, Lester invited Clark and her family to Wrigley Field to enjoy a Chicago Cubs game. In his tweet, Lester asked Clark for her autograph. Cubs fans should be familiar with that story, as it garnered attention on social media.

That’s not typical for the 35-year-old Lester. He’s the Cubs’ nominee for the 2019 Roberto Clemente Award — which honors the player who combines strong play on the field with exceptional work in the community — but would rather operate behind the scenes, making him secretly one of the most charitable players in Major League Baseball.

“I don’t really care if anyone knows about it,” Lester told Yahoo Sports. “I do it because I want to help and I don’t need it out in the open.”

Well, not anymore….


QLE Posted: September 27, 2019 at 12:48 AM | 6 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: charity, jon lester

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   1. Howie Menckel Posted: September 27, 2019 at 01:12 AM (#5883552)
I knew a pretty famous NBA player who was not at all famous for his extensive charitable work - but I found about it.

I spoke to him, and he convinced me that there was no great gain to publicizing it - and quite a bit of a loss to him for losing his anonymity.

then I asked him - he grew up in an impoverished inner city - if he did it because he was inspired by a mentor as a youth, or if he did it because he got no such support.

the latter, he said. he mentioned an equally famous older player from the same city who had, and has, a very good reputation. but this player always wanted to meet that guy as a kid. and when it didn't happen, he vowed to take a different path.

inspiration can come from many directions.
   2. The Duke Posted: September 27, 2019 at 12:26 PM (#5883672)
Adam WW is up for the Clemente award for the cardinals. I wish this aspect of MLB got more press but generally these guys are not big on PR about themselves.
   3. gef, talking mongoose & vexatious litigant Posted: September 27, 2019 at 12:29 PM (#5883674)
In a small cubby just to the right of Jon Lester’s uniform

I see what the writer did there ...

Seriously, though, good on Lester & on all the players who do this sort of thing. And all the non-players as well.
   4. Traderdave Posted: September 27, 2019 at 01:29 PM (#5883707)
I manage a portfolio for a very wealthy person who regularly draws funds out for anonymous charitable acts. It's a wonderful thing.
   5. Howie Menckel Posted: September 27, 2019 at 02:44 PM (#5883740)
Charlie Culberson, the Braves nominee, did an interview on MLB Network earlier this week.
   6. Cris E Posted: September 27, 2019 at 03:18 PM (#5883757)
There's a lot of this in the world, much more than people know. And of course that's the point, but there are many people who give publicly and then give more privately for one reason or another. For some it's simply not wanting to be hit up all the time, but there's also wanting to support a variety of groups without getting caught up in the politics of things, or not raising expectations, or not wanting to undercut an established application process, or just finding it easier to keep things quiet. Smart organizations make it easy to donate and cooperate whenever possible.

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