In offseason, players turn attentions to helping their home communities
The offseason often provides players with opportunities to turn their attention back home and engage with people and causes in their own communities.
In that spirit, Kevin Frandsen, Tim Hudson, Jon Jay, Craig Stammen and David Wright have all held events in recent weeks to support local causes.
On Jan. 23, David Wright hosted his fifth annual Vegas Night in his hometown of Norfolk, Va., to benefit the Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters. Wright was joined by teammates Travis D'Arnaud, Wilmer Flores, Juan Lagares, Jon Niese, Bobby Parnell and the latest addition to the Mets' roster, fellow Norfolk native Michael Cuddyer.
"This is the quickest we ever sold out and I think a lot of this has to do with these guys coming down [to help out]," Wright said.
On Saturday, Jan. 24, Stammen, a Nats reliever, hosted the sixth annual Diamond Club Dinner at his former high school in Versailles, Ohio. The event, which featured live and silent auctions and a raffle, raised nearly $30,000 to support the Versailles baseball, softball and track programs, school facilities and a new scholarship fund.
Stammen was joined by Nats teammate Aaron Barett, local native Jared Hoying of the Texas Rangers and Patrick Mescher, a 2010 Versailles graduate who played baseball for Army. Stammen held a baseball camp on Sunday for more than 50 kids from the local community.
"Coming from a small town, it's shocking to see us raise that much. Everyone gives all they have and comes together to support a great cause," Stammen said.
Another one of Stammen's teammates, Kevin Frandsen, was also hard at work in San Jose, Calif., hosting an event of his own. Frandsen's 19 for Life held its ninth annual bocce ball tournament, which was also a sellout.
Frandsen's 19 For Life charity was created in memory of his brother DJ who died 10 years ago after a 19-year battle with cancer. The event raised nearly $40,000 to support pediatric cancer efforts at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital as well as scholarships for high school student-athletes who have overcome adversity.
"It was a great event, a lot of passion that goes behind it. My mom is the brains and really works hard to continue to support DJ's legacy," Frandsen said. "We want to keep his memory alive by holding events -- wine tasting, bocce ball -- that he loved so that we don't lose what this charity stands for, what was important to him."
Frandsen hopes to expand the event in the coming years, especially given the success the Cheers program has had at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital. The program sends the young cancer patients on day-long excursions in the San Francisco area - anything from pampering to kayaking.
Most recently, Hudson's charity, the Hudson Family Foundation, hosted its fourth annual fundraiser in Auburn, Ala. The event kicked off with a cocktail party and concert at the Arena at Auburn University on Saturday, followed by a Super Bowl party on Sunday. The concert featured The Band Perry and Cole Swindell.
Proceeds from the ticket sales contributed to the $350,000 grand total raised for The Hudson Family Foundation, which is committed to making a positive and long-lasting impact on the lives of children who have a genuine need -- physical, emotional or financial -- for assistance.
Hudson reached out to other charities in the area, allowing them to sell tickets to the event and keep a portion of the proceeds to benefit their own non-profits and charitable endeavors.
While Hudson was holding his concert, Jay hosted his fourth annual Celebrity Bowling Challenge in Miami. Proceeds from the sold-out event, which raised more than $55,000, will benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Miami-Dade.
As Wright, Stammen, Frandsen, Hudson and Jay demonstrate, Major Leaguers care deeply about the places where they live and work by supporting causes important to them and their communities.
From Virginia to Ohio to California, to Alabama, Florida, and points in between, Major Leaguers continue to care, act and inspire.
To learn more about how Major Leaguers are giving back individually and collectively through the Players Trust, please visit www.PlayersTrust.org and be sure to sign up for the Trust's quarterly newsletter.