More than 1,300 players, coaches and managers from all 30 MLB Clubs have collectively pledged a record donation of $2,282,125 to the Baseball Assistance Team (B.A.T.) during the organization’s tenth annual Spring Training tour to raise funds for members of the Baseball Family in need of assistance. The donations, which were a 10% increase in monetary commitments compared to last year’s figures, will be made through the MLB Payroll Deduction Program, allowing players to provide funding for B.A.T. throughout the course of the season. This year’s tour brought the Spring Training fundraising total to more than $13 million pledged over ten years, and comes at a time when requests for assistance are at an all-time high.
During the tour, representatives from B.A.T., including Baltimore Orioles All-Star center fielder Adam Jones, former MLB All-Stars ”Sudden” Sam McDowell, Cookie Rojas and Randy Winn, along with Director of Umpire Medical Services Mark Letendre, visited various clubhouses to inform and educate Clubs on the mission of B.A.T. and the support the organization provides. They were joined by several B.A.T. grant recipients who shared stories of the positive effects B.A.T. has had on their lives and the lives of their family members.
Several MLB All-Stars and Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon provided their reactions to the B.A.T. Spring Training presentations via Twitter:
@DatDudeBP (Cincinnati Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips): “Enjoyed our meeting w/ @BATcharity & special guest speaker! Really showed how GREAT this organization is for the baseball family”
@CY24_7 (Arizona Diamondbacks center fielder Chris Young): “#GreatOrganization!!”
@TheCUTCH22 (Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen): “thank you guys”
@acrow43 (Kansas City Royals relief pitcher Aaron Crow): “You do great things for former players!”
@RaysJoeMaddon (Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon): “great cause and greater work on your part…thx for informative presentation”
“The entire B.A.T. organization thanks the many players, coaches and managers for their tremendous contributions this spring toward assisting the Baseball Family. This generosity is a wonderful testament to the lengths in which Baseball will go to support their own when it is needed most, and includes the continued support and cooperation of the MLBPA,” said B.A.T. President and Baltimore Orioles Broadcaster Gary Thorne.
B.A.T. is also announcing that the New York Yankees and Arizona Diamondbacks are the recipients of the 2012 Bobby Murcer Award, which is given to the team in both the American League (Yankees) and National League (D-backs) whose players commit the most amount of money to B.A.T. during the Spring Training Fundraising Tour. This is the fourth consecutive year that the Yankees have won the award. Both Clubs will be presented with the Bobby Murcer Award at next year’s “Going to Bat for B.A.T. Fundraising Dinner” on January 22, 2013.
The Baseball Assistance Team, now in its 27th year, is a unique organization within the sports industry dedicated to assisting members of the Baseball Family who are in need with nowhere else to turn. 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 $25 million in grants to date, benefiting more than 2,800 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, players from the Women’s Professional Baseball League and widows, spouses and children. All aid provided by B.A.T. is strictly confidential, allowing those in need to receive help discreetly. For more information about the Baseball Assistance Team or to make a donation, please visit: http://www.baseballassistanceteam.com, Facebook.com/BaseballAssistanceTeam or Twitter.com/BATcharity