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Goodrum spends off-day helping Flint residents

MLB.com @beckjason

DETROIT -- Niko Goodrum thought Flint was back to normal after the city's water crisis. An offseason visit to his family in Georgia, shortly after he had signed a Spring Training invite with the Tigers, raised his awareness level.

"I went over to my mom's house, and I walked through the living room, and she had a movie on," Goodrum said. "It was a movie about Flint on Lifetime. I sat down and starting watching it with her, because I thought the problem was over. I watched that, and when I came up, I wanted to try to help."

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DETROIT -- Niko Goodrum thought Flint was back to normal after the city's water crisis. An offseason visit to his family in Georgia, shortly after he had signed a Spring Training invite with the Tigers, raised his awareness level.

"I went over to my mom's house, and I walked through the living room, and she had a movie on," Goodrum said. "It was a movie about Flint on Lifetime. I sat down and starting watching it with her, because I thought the problem was over. I watched that, and when I came up, I wanted to try to help."

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At that point, Goodrum couldn't have known he'd make the Tigers' Opening Day roster, let alone stick through the first half of the season. Now that he has a comfort level in Detroit, he's giving back.

While Monday marks the Tigers' first off-day in 2 1/2 weeks, ending a stretch of 18 games in 17 days, Goodrum will be spending the morning in Flint, helping hand out 1,440 cases of bottled water at a local help center along with volunteers from the United Way of Genesee County and the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan. The bottled water is a result of a monetary donation Goodrum made through the Tigers.

While testing of the city's water supply has shown lead levels to be within federal standards, there remains a concern about remaining service lines that carry the water to residences. The city continues to replace lead pipes that were damaged by contaminated water from the Flint River.

The state of Michigan's free bottled water program ended earlier this spring, though the state has been providing water filters. Goodrum, like many others, was motivated to do what he could.

"I'm not too much into it as far as how to fix it," Goodrum said. "I just know that it's still an issue right now. I just wanted to help however I could.

"I'm trying to do whatever I can do on my end to try to help get some water. It's a big thing to me for someone to have clean water."

That's why, even with a much-needed off-day, Goodrum wanted to do more than just donate money. He hopes to talk with residents and volunteers and learn about the situation and where things stand.

"I'm looking forward to it," he said. "That's why I didn't mind that it's an off-day. A lot of people relax on the off-day, but something like that, I want to be there."

So, why 1,440 cases of bottled water?

"I gave the team a dollar figure that I wanted to give," he said.

Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and Facebook.

Detroit Tigers, Niko Goodrum