Bauer pitching in to aid youth clubs, activities

Indians righty donating $10 for each strikeout in his starts to charities

April 8th, 2019

CLEVELAND -- When Indians right-hander Trevor Bauer wasn’t on a baseball field as a kid growing up in Southern California, he was often alone, partaking in activities that his teammates were never interested in.

Bauer was the opposite of the stereotypical jock. He enjoyed physics and competed in statewide chess tournaments. He mastered the art of origami and he studied magic tricks and sleight of hand techniques.

“I have chess trophies on my -- they’re in boxes now, but growing up, they were all over my shelves, mixed in with my baseball trophies,” Bauer said. “I did origami. Like I still have a big shoebox with all the different origami models that I did. I developed my own -- like there weren’t any books or anything like that.”

When the 28-year-old Major Leaguer looks back at his childhood, it’s clear he’s still passionate about the hobbies he’s had, but the isolation that came along with them has not been forgotten.

“Growing up for me, it was kind of tough because I liked things that traditional athletes don’t really like, like physics and chess, and I didn’t really do the social thing,” Bauer said. “But there weren’t a whole lot of programs for me to go and be a part of, so I didn’t really develop a peer group within those activities. My peer group was mostly nonexistent, but the friends I did have were kind of through baseball.”

Now, Bauer is trying to change that.

“I was doing all these things on my own and there were plenty of other kids out there that liked doing it, but it’s just hard to -- like you don’t know,” Bauer said. “You see a kid at school, you don’t know what he does after school or whatever.”

To help be part of the solution, Bauer announced the start of a 23-week long campaign last week that will raise money and awareness for organizations that support after school activities for kids to encourage them to pursue their passions and dreams. Each week, three charities will receive $10 for each strikeout he records in his starts.

“I think my dad came up with [the strikeout idea] actually,” Bauer said. “Because we were sitting down talking one night about just how to bring [the giving campaign] back and what we were going to do to like keep it fresh and make it interesting. I love my strikeouts, so we just kind of settled on that.”

Bauer tweeted a link to have people submit charities they are passionate about. He goes through the submissions each week and posts four of them on Twitter in a poll for people to vote on. The top three receive that week’s money and the fourth automatically gets entered into the following week’s poll.

“That way it kind of gets the charity involved,” Bauer said. “They get tagged in the tweet. They get their following to go vote and try to get as many people involved with it as possible and raise as much awareness as possible.”

Bauer donated $5,520 after striking out eight batters in his first home start of the 2019 season on Thursday. The campaign will wrap up around the beginning of September.

“I want to make it easier for kids to do what they want to do,” Bauer said. “I want to encourage them to do what they love and then also have them be able to establish friend groups that way. So, organizations like chess clubs or Girl Who Code or after-school soccer programs, or something like that, that try to help kids like come out and do the things they enjoy and get kids together, and make it easier to develop self-confidence and friendships and feel better about themselves.”