NASHVILLE -- While Dr. Genoveva Javier’s husband, Stan, was playing in Major League Baseball, she made a vow that when his career was over she would find a way to make her life about helping others.
Through the Baseball Assistance Team (BAT), Dr. Javier has done just that, and she was recognized for her efforts Wednesday morning, when she received the Bart Giamatti Award at the organization’s annual breakfast at the Winter Meetings.
The Bart Giamatti Award is presented annually to an individual in baseball who best exemplifies the compassion, humanitarianism, empathy and kindness demonstrated by the late commissioner, whom the award is named after.
“I believe the most important value in our life is gratitude,” Dr. Javier said. “I believe in love. Love and gratitude helps get us through the adversity that we all experience in life. I believe that love moves mountains and should reign in our hearts, making us better people and making a world where sensibility and humanity along with solidarity, compassion, kindness and support from one another shall prevail.”
The Baseball Assistance Team was formed in 1986 as a way to confidentially help members of the baseball family -- anyone from former Minor Leaguers to scouts to front office people -- who are in need of assistance and have nowhere else to turn.
Grants from BAT have been used for things like food and household necessities, housing, medical expenses, funeral expenses, health insurance, prescription medications and more.
Last year, BAT awarded over 1,300 grants and $3 million to help restore health, pride and dignity to members of the baseball family.
Dr. Javier has been a BAT consultant in the Dominican Republic since 2010 and has filled a number of key roles which have allowed the organization to reach those in that country in need.
“Her tremendous reputation and credentials in the medical industry have been an unbelievable asset to BAT,” said Gary Thorne, one of BAT’s vice presidents. “I think it is fair to say that without her work taking place in the Dominican Republic there is no way that BAT would have helped the hundreds of people that we have helped over the time that she has been involved.”
Dr. Javier’s dedication is so strong, Thorne said, that she doesn’t simply answer phone calls from people in need. She will drop everything at a moment’s notice and drive to any part of the island to reach people who cannot get to her.
“She has done this continually over the years,” Thorne said, "way beyond anything that could be asked, because she does have that kind of compassion for the people that she serves.”
Former Minor League pitcher Mario Santiago spoke during the breakfast about what BAT meant to him, recounting how the organization helped his family after Hurricane Fiona devastated his family's home in Puerto Rico in 2022.
Without BAT’s help, Santiago doesn’t know what he would have done. For Dr. Javier, every story like Santiago’s drives her to continue her work.
“This award reminds me that what we are doing has been productive, which fills me with great hope and determination,” Dr. Javier said. “We'll continue working together for a better future for the baseball family.”