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03/30/2010 5:23 PM ET
Players from 30 MLB clubs pledge record of nearly $2 million to Baseball Assistance Team during 2010 Spring Training tour
New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers to be Recipients of 2010 Bobby Murcer Award
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Players from all MLB 30 Clubs have collectively pledged a record donation of nearly $2 million to the Baseball Assistance Team (B.A.T.) during the organization's eighth annual Spring Training Fundraising Tour to raise funds for members of the Baseball Family in need of assistance.

B.A.T. also announced that the New York Yankees (American League-AL) and the Los Angeles Dodgers (National League-NL) will be the 2010 recipients of the Bobby Murcer Award. The award is given to the team in both the AL and NL whose players commit to contribute the most amount of money to B.A.T. during the Spring Training Fundraising Tour. The award will be presented to both Clubs at next year's "Going to Bat for B.A.T." Dinner on January 25th, 2011.

During the tour over 1,100 players committed $1.85 million in donations to B.A.T., totaling more than $9 million pledged over the eight years of the tour. This was a 27% increase in monetary commitments compared to last year's tour. The donations will be made through MLB Payroll Deduction Program, which allows players to provide funding for B.A.T. throughout the course of the season.

"The B.A.T. organization is overwhelmed by the incredible generosity of the players and is extremely grateful for their commitments," said B.A.T. Executive Director Joseph Grippo. "The money raised will be used to help members of the Baseball Family in need of financial, medical or psychological assistance. Another primary goal of the tour is to inform the players that they must be the 'eyes and ears' for the B.A.T. organization, and we have already been contacted by a few recommending people in need of assistance. We are also pleased to honor the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers with the 2010 Bobby Murcer Award for going above and beyond with their generous contributions to our cause."

During the tour, representatives from B.A.T. including Hall of Famers Bob Gibson and Joe Morgan as well as Luis Gonzalez, Sam McDowell, Randy Winn, Cookie Rojas and Gary Thorne took time at various clubhouses to assist with the fundraising efforts. Also joining the B.A.T. representatives for presentations were several B.A.T. grant recipients who shared stories of the positive effects B.A.T. has had on their lives and those of their families. The entire tour was captured in a blog on the Baseball Assistance Team Facebook and Twitter page.

Now in its 25th year, B.A.T. is a unique organization within the sports industry dedicated to assisting members of its family who are in need. Through charitable contributions from corporations, foundations and individuals, B.A.T. strives to provide a means of support to people with financial, psychological or physical burdens. B.A.T.'s assistance takes a variety of forms including financial grants, healthcare programs and rehabilitative counseling.

B.A.T., a 501 (c) 3 charitable organization, has awarded more than $21 million in grants to date, benefiting more than 2,600 members of the baseball family, including former Major League players, managers, coaches, scouts, umpires, athletic trainers, front office personnel as well as Minor League players, Negro League players, their widows and children and players from the Women's Professional Baseball League. All aid provided by B.A.T. is strictly confidential, allowing those in need to receive help discreetly.

For more information about B.A.T. or to make a donation, please visit:, or

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