The Allan H. Selig Award for Philanthropic Excellence, formerly known as the Commissioner’s Award for Philanthropic Excellence, was created in 2010 to recognize the charitable and philanthropic efforts of MLB Clubs.

Kansas City Royals: When the pandemic began, Royals Charities created the Royals Respond Fund, which has supported more than 500,000 meals, created grants for 17 nonprofit organizations and encouraged Royals staff to volunteer countless hours around the city. Goal No. 1: Establish the KC MLB Urban Youth Academy as more than a youth baseball and softball hub by hosting educational programming for students. Goal No. 2: Transform the KC MLB Urban Youth Academy into a makeshift community center for the people who live in the neighborhood -- something that didn’t exist before the pandemic.

Finalists

Home Plate Project: The Home Plate Project leveraged club, ballpark, partner, concessions and staff resources from across the Atlanta Braves organization to support hunger relief efforts for frontline workers and families in our most vulnerable communities.

Now, more than 18 months later, the Home Plate Project has evolved to meet the ever-changing needs of the Greater Atlanta area and communities across Braves Country. It was designed to be a collaborative, multi-faceted approach with a simple idea -- a hot meal and a box of groceries for the week fills an urgent need for so many -- but it does more than fill bellies; it fills hearts as people connect over plates and share joy.

Reimagining Wrigley Field and Cubs Charities to fight COVID-19: The Chicago Cubs and the Ricketts family reimagined the Wrigley Field campus to meet the needs of Chicagoans who were deeply impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. During this unprecedented time, the Cubs and Cubs Charities mobilized associates, energized team sponsors and partnered with community residents in a comprehensive effort to deliver resources uniquely facilitated by a large sports venue nestled in an urban community. To support the needs of the community, the Cubs quickly transformed iconic Wrigley Field into the largest food packing and distribution center in baseball, opened office space to serve as a vaccination center and blood bank, and activated open spaces around the ballpark to collect donated items.

Amateur City Elite (ACE): The White Sox created the Amateur City Elite (ACE) program in 2007 to reverse the declining interest and participation in baseball among African Americans and to prepare each participant to succeed in life beyond the field. Ninety-nine percent of participants graduate high school. More than 225 college scholarships have been earned by ACE participants to schools like Louisville, Michigan and Vanderbilt, and 27 players have been drafted by MLB teams.

Dodgers Feed LA program: The Los Angeles Dodgers and Dodgers Foundation have been at the heart of Los Angeles’ fight against COVID-19. With community need for food and basic needs growing, we established the Dodgers Feed LA program to significantly combat food insecurity in low-income, racially diverse communities across Los Angeles. Using a multi-faceted approach that includes fundraising, awareness building, grantmaking, nonprofit collaborations and on-the-ground food distributions, the Dodgers aim to strategically address food insecurity that is threatening Los Angeles families. To date, over 4.5 million meals have been donated to Los Angeles families via more than 50 distributions. In addition, $3 million in-kind donations of water, hygiene necessities, gift cards, sports equipment, educational items and Dodgers products have been provided to vulnerable families.

Great Minds -- Great Athletes program: With a clear need for mental health resources for adolescents, the Miami Marlins, Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) and Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) partnered together, with additional support from Bally Sports Florida, with the purpose of providing a comprehensive plan to support student-athletes as well as their parents, coaches and school administration, augmenting the strong work in mental health by the M-DCPS Mental Health Services Department.

Padres COVID response: Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the San Diego Padres have been committed to using the team’s unique platform and large presence in the community to help champion the region’s public health initiatives and priorities. In 2021, the specific programs associated with these efforts centered around vaccine advocacy and distribution as well as food insecurity.

Rays team up to feed our community : At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Feeding Tampa Bay, a longstanding community partner of the Tampa Bay Rays, saw an immediate 400% increase in need for their services. According to Feeding Tampa Bay, before the pandemic, about 650,000 people in the Tampa Bay area were food insecure. Now, that number stands at 1 million. Since March 2020, throughout the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Tampa Bay Rays and Rays Baseball Foundation have continued and furthered our commitment to supporting those in need throughout the Tampa Bay community, with a special focus on hunger relief efforts.

Nationals Youth Baseball Academy: YBA PLAY + HUSTLE: The Nationals Youth Baseball Academy, the signature program of Nationals Philanthropies, has long been the neighborhood-level expression of our commitment to community impact. With high-quality youth baseball and softball opportunities at its core, the Academy delivers programs to under-resourced D.C. communities that increase the number of children who derive lifelong benefit from our great game.

Previous Winners

2020

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Canadian society has disproportionately affected under-resourced Canadian families who were already facing barriers in their lives. Seeing the alarming challenges youth and their families were facing in Toronto and across Canada due to COVID-19, the Blue Jays organization was determined to take immediate action.

2019

In philanthropic partnership with Massachusetts General Hospital, the Home Base Program is a nonprofit dedicated to providing world-class clinical care, wellness, education and research initiatives for veterans, active military service members and their families impacted by “invisible wounds,” such as post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury.

2018

Texas Rangers Richard Greene Scholars has provided more than $1.2 million in college scholarships to 126 Arlington, Texas, high school students.

2017

The Astros Leaders Program has positively affected thousands of children in Greater Houston through baseball and softball programming, education-based initiatives and volunteer opportunities.

2016

The Philadelphia Phillies received the award for its commitment to supporting the fight against ALS through the “Phillies Phestival.”

2015

Junior Giants program, a free, non-competitive initiative for youth, ages 5-18, that focuses on character development and baseball instruction.

2014

Refuse To Abuse® Domestic Violence Prevention Program, a state-wide educational initiative, in partnership with the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence, to promote healthy relationships and take a public stand against domestic violence.

2013

Detroit Tigers Anti-Bullying program, a free, Michigan-wide educational program designed to help students and teachers manage the issue of bullying in schools.

2012

Toronto Blue Jays Baseball Academy, a series of initiatives that support young people by encouraging physical activity through baseball while also providing programs that offer important resources and help develop essential life skills.

2011

White Sox Volunteer Corps, a unique initiative designed to activate the fan base with White Sox players, executives and staff in helping give back to the greater Chicago community through service.

2010

Red Sox Scholars program creates educational opportunities for inner-city youth.

Learn more about Club programming in local communities