WASHINGTON -- One of the key wrinkles for the inaugural Players Weekend around Major League Baseball is that players are encouraged to wear T-shirts highlighting a charity or cause of their choice during pregame workouts or postgame interviews.Nationals left-hander Sean Doolittle has taken full advantage, as the reliever has been
WASHINGTON -- One of the key wrinkles for the inaugural Players Weekend around Major League Baseball is that players are encouraged to wear T-shirts highlighting a charity or cause of their choice during pregame workouts or postgame interviews.
Nationals left-hander Sean Doolittle has taken full advantage, as the reliever has been sporting a shirt for Operation Finally Home, an organization working across the country helping build mortgage-free homes for America's military veterans. The goal of Operation Finally Home is to "help America's military heroes and their families transition to the home front by addressing one of their most pressing needs -- a home to call their own," according to the organization's website.
Doolittle -- who will wear the nickname "Doooooooo" for Players Weekend" -- grew up in a military family. His father served in the Air Force and his stepmother is an active duty International Guard. His fiancee, Eireann, has a brother who is an active duty Air Force member. So both are passionate about issues with the military and penned an Op-Ed earlier this year in Sports Illustrated about issues facing military families.
• Players Weekend gear available at MLBShop.com
"I think we're seeing right now with some of the mental health issues that veterans are facing," Doolittle said. "Especially when they transition out of the military, one thing that they lose is that sense of community, that sense of teamwork, that sense of brotherhood they get in the military.
"When you're able to give a military veteran and their family -- if you give them a house, they get that feeling back. They become a part of that community. That put down roots, they get involved. They go from serving their country to serving their community."
Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.