Players, coaches and managers from all 30 Major League Baseball clubs together pledged more than $2.5 million this spring for the Baseball Assistance Team (B.A.T.), which lends assistance to members of the "baseball family" in need.
More than 1,400 members of the MLB community pledged the record donation of $2,523,650 during the organization's 12th annual Spring Training fundraising tour. The donations are made through the MLB Payroll Deduction Program, with collective donations of $1,297,900 coming from the Cactus League and $1,225,750 coming from the Grapefruit League. Both are record totals.
More than $17 million has been pledged in total over 12 years. Additionally, the Indians and Phillies were named the 2014 recipients of the Bobby Murcer Award, which is given to the American League and National League teams that pledge the most money. Both were first-time honorees.
B.A.T. representatives and former All-Stars, including president Randy Winn, visited clubhouses around Spring Training and were joined by several B.A.T. grant recipients who were able to share stories and tell of the positive impact B.A.T. had on their lives.
"As we conclude another fundraising tour during Spring Training, all of us at the Baseball Assistance Team would like to thank the players, managers, coaches, general managers and staff for their generous donations toward our efforts to help members of the baseball family who are in need," Winn said in a statement. "We continue to be grateful and appreciative of the support of the entire industry, including Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association, to allow our organization to continue our mission of offering assistance discreetly and thoroughly."
Joey Nowak is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joeynowak.