The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association (MLBPAA) was formed in 1982 in order to promote the game of baseball, raise money for charity, inspire and educate youth through positive sport images and protect the dignity of the game through former players. A nonprofit organization, the MLBPAA establishes a place where a player's drive for excellence and achievement on the field can continue long after they take their last steps off the professional diamond.
Headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colo., the MLBPAA's membership currently has more than 8,600 members composed of former and current Major League players, umpires, managers, coaches, front-office personnel and fans. President Jim Thome guides the MLBPAA with Bob Boone, George Brett, Carl Erskine, Chipper Jones, Barry Larkin, Edgar Martinez and Robin Yount presiding as Vice Presidents.
The vast majority of former big leaguers have gravitated to the Alumni Association, including Hall of Famers, All-Stars, Cy Young Award winners and Gold Glove recipients. Former players hoping to give back to the game find the Alumni Association to be a vital, constructive instrument providing a vehicle for them to be involved in charity and community causes nationwide. Alumni members understand that as one of only several thousand living major league players they belong to a select group that has the unique ability to advance and encourage the sport of baseball and the values associated with the game.
The charitable Swing with the Legends Golf Series has raised more than $75 million, benefiting dozens of charities including Children's Hospital, American Diabetes, Boys and Girls Clubs, Cystic Fibrosis, Special Olympics, Leukemia Society of America, the Salvation Army, Meals on Wheels and Little League Baseball. Organized at some of the country's premier golf courses, the Swing with the Legends Golf Series provides a weekend of fun for participants while benefiting those less fortunate. "As a former player, I can think of nothing we can do with more conviction than to help so many charities and communities throughout the country," said former Cleveland Indians great Jim "Mudcat" Grant. "The golf series provides all of us the opportunity to come together and support many worthwhile causes."
In addition to the golf series the MLBPAA provides, at absolutely no expense to children or their parents, the Legends for Youth Clinic Series. The Legends for Youth Clinic Series combines former Major Leaguers and youth participants on the diamond, giving children an opportunity to acquire life skills and baseball fundamentals from some of baseballs brightest past stars. Over the past five years, the Legends for Youth Clinic Series has reached more than 100,000 children across the country and internationally in countries such as Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, British Virgin Islands, Canada, China, Colombia, Cuba, Curacao, the Dominican Republic, England, France, Germany, Italy, Jamaica, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Panama, Spain, St. Kitts, the United States of America and Venezuela. Commenting on his involvement with the Legends for Youth Clinic Series, Brooks Robinson said, "There is nothing I would rather do than teach someone how to get his glove down or sign an autograph for a young player, it's the least I can do to give back to the game that has given so much to me."
As well as the non-profit missions of the MLBPAA, the organization assists former Major Leaguers through its wholly owned for-profit organizations MLAM (Major League Alumni Marketing). MLAM goals include implementing a player pool and gaining compensation for former players through appearances and endorsements, while protecting the name and likeness of former players from unauthorized uses. Major League Alumni Marketing continues to expand in benefits and opportunities for MLBPAA members.