The devastation wrought by Hurricane Sandy has taken a toll on several Major League Baseball communities. I should know. I live in one of those communities. Now, we need help to recover and rebuild.
It takes a team to get through a crisis. Major League Baseball, its players and fans around the country have begun to gather force to assist us in need in the wake of “Superstorm” Sandy. To that end, Major League Baseball announced Friday that in conjunction with the Major League Baseball Players’ Association (MLBPA) a donation of $1 million is being made to benefit the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army and Feeding America which will assist in efforts to help those affected most by the storm.
“As our thoughts and prayers remain with all those who have been impacted by this tragedy, it is a privilege for Major League Baseball to support our fans and their communities during this urgent time of need,” Commissioner Bud Selig said to MLB.com. “All of us at Major League Baseball are grateful to our society’s leaders, first responders and volunteers, and we hope that our contribution to these humanitarian organizations will assist in the vital relief efforts along the East Coast. This is a time when the resiliency of the great American spirit will prevail.”
Said MLBPA executive director Michael Weiner on the same website: “Natural disasters know no boundaries, and this one was a direct hit that affected many in the MLBPA’s office personally. On behalf of the MLBPA and its members, we are honored to join with the Commissioner’s Office in making this contribution to support the efforts of organizations working around the clock to help provide various forms of relief and assistance to those suffering in the aftermath of the storm, including many of our friends and neighbors in need.” With the Commissioner’s Office and MLBPA headquartered in Manhattan, two teams in New York and about one-third of Major League cities directly affected by the storm, this disaster struck home for baseball.
Living right in the path of the destruction, the Yankees were among the first clubs to step up to support relief efforts. They pledged $500,000 to the American Red Cross and spearheaded a blood drive on Friday that included tickets to a 2013 game for those who donated to the New York Blood Center. “As a neighbor and community member, the Yankees embrace our role of stepping forward and assisting the American Red Cross, which comes to the aid of so many people through their tireless efforts,” Yankees chairman Hal Steinbrenner said in a statement on MLB.com announcing the donation.
The 2012 World Series champion Giants, before the crowd of about one million that attended their victory parade and celebration — began with thoughts and prayers for people on the other side of the country needing help. “As we gather together as a community today to celebrate this joyous occasion,” emcee Renel Brooks-Moon said as she began the presentation, “we do want to take a moment first to recognize those impacted by Hurricane Sandy and mourn the lives lost from this disaster. Of course, the Giants share a rich and deep history with New York, so all of us, our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone on the East Coast affected by this disaster.”
Brooks-Moon then announced to the huge crowd gathered at Civic Center Plaza that Giants players are planning to make many donations with the Giants organization matching those donations, dollar for dollar. “Just think,” she said. “Everybody here today, one dollar from all of us, what that can do. That can really, really help.”
The Oakland A’s announced that the team’s Community Fund is accepting monetary donations to help those affected by Sandy. They’ll be sending the proceeds to the Salvation Army, which is providing mobile feeding units, shelters and clean-up kits, and the Humane Society of the United States, which is helping animal rescue teams and providing supplies to animal shelters.
Team by team, fan by fan, neighbor by neighbor, baseball can help the relief effort following one of the worst natural disasters in the nation’s history.
In the days and weeks ahead, baseball will be part of the healing process for the region devastated by Superstorm Sandy, my home. The message will continue to be spread on MLB.com and MLB Network. In every Major League Baseball city, teams and fans are stepping up as well. Take a look what might be going on in your hometown and see what you can do to help. They need it. We need it and to that, I say … thank you.