All-Star Players Giving Back - American League

 

The MLB All-Star team rosters have been announced and the players are making their way to the Nation’s Capital this weekend. While we wait for the batting orders to be set, we took a look at the players on both the American and National League All-Star rosters to see how they make a social impact in their communities.

We know the MLB is dedicated to sports philanthropy, now let’s check out their best players. We want to know who is the most socially conscious team, the American League or the National League. Click here for a rundown of the National League Roster.

 

AMERICAN LEAGUE

 

Starters

 

3B: Jose Ramirez, Cleveland Indians

In March of this year, Jose Ramirez launched his own salsa line, Jose Jose Salsa. Proceeds from sales of the salsa will go to Cleveland Indians Charities, which supports Cleveland Metropolitan School District High School Baseball and Softball Programs, the Cleveland Baseball Federation’s Larry Doby Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities Program (RBI) and Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland.

 

1B: Jose Abreu, Chicago White Sox

Jose Abreu has made a commitment to giving back throughout his career. In 2014 he participated in a Special Olympics baseball clinic with his teammate at Armour Square Park. This May, Abreu was a special visitor to Easter Seals Therapeutic School and Center for Autism Research in Chicago. He has donated $10,000 to the school as well. His own program, Abreu’s Amigos was launched in 2015 to support children with special needs. Abreu had a special relationship with a boy with special needs in Cuba and this passion has spread to the Chicago area where Abreu makes a living.

 

2B: Jose Altuve, Houston Astros

Jose Altuve won the MLB’s Lou Gehrig Award in 2017, presented annually to a Major League player who best exemplifies the giving character of Hall of Famer Lou Gehrig. Altuve participates regularly in the Astros outreach activities and initiatives. He participated in the Peloteros por Puerto Rico” (Players for Puerto Rico) tour that hosted several youth clinics in Puerto Rico alongside other Major Leaguers. This past May, Altuve worked with former MLB player Darwin Perez hosted a youth camp in Phoenix that collected baseball equipment and gear donations to send home to their native Venezuela.

He started his own foundation, the Jose Altuve Foundation, to raise money for the Sunshine Club supporting children with cancer. He also pledged donations of $25,000 of New Balance gear to be given away by the Astros after Hurricane Harvey. He and his wife donated $30,000 to help rebuild homes lost during the storms as well.  

Altuve and his Houston teammate Lance McCullers Jr. have partnered up on an event to raise money for their respective foundations as well. Called “Team Up for Kids and K9s” the event was held for the second time this year and raised more than $360,000 for both organizations.

 

SS: Manny Machado, Baltimore Orioles

Manny Machado may not be an Oriole much longer but he has made an impact in the Baltimore community. Machado hosts an annual BaseBowl Tournament that raises money for the Baltimore City Recreation and Parks Play Baseball Program. The tournament hosted its fourth annual event in 2017. Through the event, Machado has successfully raised more than $200,000 to support Baltimore City youth and their access to play sports.

 

OF: Mookie Betts, Boston Red Sox

Mookie Betts hosted the first annual Mookie Betts Big League Bowl in August 2017 that raised more than $150,000 for Pitching In for Kids and One Mission, charities that support children in New England and children with cancer respectively. Betts also partnered with New Era on a custom designed hat which a portion of sales were donated to both charities. He participates in other celebrity bowling tournaments, like NBA player Chris Paul’s in Los Angeles last year.

 

OF: Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels

Mike Trout has given back a lot around the country, but most of all in his home state of New Jersey. In December of 2015, a local NJ family close to Trout’s hometown of Millville lost their home in a fire. They had nothing and their children were devastated as the Christmas tree and all the presents were burned. Trout stopped by on Christmas Eve and provided presents for the kids. Trout also met with a local Millville boy with a severe eye condition as well.

In California, Trout partners with the Big Brothers Big Sisters Orange County and serves as a mentor for youth involved in the program. According to the website, Trout encourages visitors to “pledge a donation for home runs during the season or make a one-time donation to support life-changing Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring programs for local kids facing adversity.

 

OF: Aaron Judge, New York Yankees

Aaron Judge has participated in many Yankees outreach initiatives, including his teammate C.C. Sabathia’s softball game to support his organization, PitCCh In. The event raised $1 million for underprivileged inner city children.



Reserves

 

C: Salvador Perez, Kansas City Royals

Salvador Perez pledged $1 million towards the Urban Youth Academy in Kansas City. On top of team and league donations, the money that Perez pledged went towards field renovations and programming costs. Perez served as a Shark Tank panel member at Teach For America Kansas City’s second annual Shark Tank: Teacher Edition. Six contestants were awarded $30,000 towards the social projects that the teachers had planned.

 

1B: Mitch Moreland, Boston Red Sox

Mitch Moreland sent a video to 7 year old PJ Trojanowski, who is a cancer survivor, during her fight to beat the disease. He got to meet her face to face this past May before a game. PJ is in remission.

 

2B: Jed Lowrie, Athletics

Jed Lowrie and his wife, Melissa, founded the Jedi Warriors program in 2012 while Jed played for the Houston Astros. Each homestand, they host military vets and their families at Oakland A’s games in partnership with the Wounded Warriors Project. In partnership with the US State Department’s Sport Envoy Program, Lowrie traveled to Nicaragua with other MLB players to host youth clinics and spread goodwill around the world through baseball.

 

3B Alex Bregman, Houston Astros

When Alex Bregman’s godson was diagnosed with Autism, he become an outspoken advocate of supporting children with the disease. His foundation, AB for AUDS, provides computer tablets to children with autism and Down syndrome. He participates in charity events around Houston and beyond.

 

SS: Jean Segura, Seattle Mariners

Jean Segura is a celebrity ambassador for GAB: Generations Against Bullying to help spread the message that “you can stop bullying if you take the courage to become an upstander.

 

SS: Francisco Lindor, Cleveland Indians

Francisco Lindor launched a charitable program called the Lindor Smile Squad, which provides baseball experiences to children with disabilities. He also is an active participant in the MLB’s RBI program (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities), participating in events around Cleveland. He returned to his home of Puerto Rico this spring to host a youth baseball clinic at his old elementary school.

 

OF: Shin-Soo Choo, Texas Rangers

Shin-Soo Choo is a Korean baseball player who gives back to members of the Korean community in Texas. He donated 1,000 tickets to members of the Korean community and provided scholarships through donations to two young students. He has hosted families with adopted children from Korea in Choo’s Corner during games. In 2013, his Choo Foundation hosted a charity event in partnership with Child Fund Korea to support underprivileged children and children from multicultural families.

 

OF: Mitch Haniger, Seattle Mariners

Mitch Haniger supported and hosted children and families from the Seattle Children’s Hospital at a game this past June. He gave them Topps baseball cards with the children’s faces on them to get signed and had some of his teammates come out for photos and autographs. Last offseason, Haniger worked with an organization called More Than A Game, where he helped renovate baseball fields in Hilo, Hawaii and taught kids how to play.

 

OF: George Springer, Houston Astros

George Springer has struggle with a stutter since childhood. This inspired him to create the George Springer Kids Fund, as a part of SAY: The Stuttering Association for the Young. According to their website, Camp SAY helps “young people who stutter develop the skills they need to say what they want to say and advocate for themselves in their everyday lives.” He hosts an annual bowling fundraiser to raise money for the fund and Camp SAY. The fourth annual event was this past weekend.  

 

OF: Nelson Cruz, Seattle Mariners

Nelson Cruz started his own foundation, the Boomstick23 Foundation, in 2016. The foundation was founded in Las Matas de Santa Cruz, Dominican Republic and focuses on education and training centers to support athletically talented youth and facilitating their future educational and professional integration. He was honored by the New York State Senate in 2016 for his work with young people in the Dominican Republic. He hosted Boomstick & Friends, a charity event that spread the message on how charity can break the cycle of poverty. The event also awarded a scholarship to a student in the Bronx.



Pitchers

RHP: Luis Severino, New York Yankees

Luis Severino has participated in several Yankees community endeavors, including the Yankees HOPE Week charity initiatives like helping kids from Southern Boulevard School in Chatham, N.J., in a school-supplies drive Wednesday.

 

RHP: Jose Berrios, Minnesota Twins

Jose Berrios has done a significant amount of work in Puerto Rico, including raising funds to go towards worthy organizations in the country and hosting youth clinics and events for Puerto Rican youth.  Most recently, he has given back while participating in Puerto Rico’s World Baseball Classic with the Minnesota Twins. Earlier this year, he participated in Hurricane Maria efforts with other Puerto Rican MLB players, including distributing donations around his hometown of Bayamon.

 

RHP: Trevor Bauer, Cleveland Indians

The Cleveland Indians pitcher has pledged to donate $420.69 for 69 days this season, with money going towards 69 different causes of his fans’ choosing. This all came out of a salary arbitration case, where Bauer was awarded more than $100,000 on top of the salary he negotiated for. Part of the arbitration was Bauer’s obsession with the number 69 for its nefarious connotations, so he decided to make a positive out of the situation.

 

RHP: Gerrit Cole, Houston Astros

Gerrit Cole hosted a fundraiser in 2016 while he was a Pittsburgh Pirate called Uncork for a Cause to raise awareness for Pirates Charities and The Children’s Institute. He has been involved with Coaches vs. Cancer and the MaxLove Project as well.

 

LHP: J.A. Happ, Toronto Blue Jays

J.A. Happ has participated in Blue Jays outreach events at schools around Toronto, speaking to students about the hard work that it takes to be a baseball player and the importance of staying in school. He was also the Blue Jays 2017 Marvin Miller Man of the Year award and received a $2,500 grant from the Players Trust to be donated to the charity of his choice.

 

RHP: Craig Kimbrel, Boston Red Sox

While Kimbrel was with the Atlanta Braves, he spent a lot of time with children experiencing cancer and their families. He is a spokesperson for Curing Kids Cancer, an organization in the Atlanta area. While he played for the Braves, Kimbrel donated $100 for every save and $25 for every strikeout to the charity, accumulating $14,000 over two seasons and also raising money at a charity fundraiser. He also served as the Braves team rep for Cardinals player Jason Motte’s organization “Let’s Strike Out Cancer”.

 

RHP: Corey Kluber, Cleveland Indians

Corey Kluber and his wife host young a child from Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital at select home games throughout the season. The child and their family watch batting practice on the field, get Kluber jerseys and get to watch the game from the Club Lounge. The Klubers do the same when they host local veterans from the Cleveland VA Medical Center on select home games.

 

LHP: Chris Sale, Boston Red Sox

Chris Sale gives back off the field each time he is on the field through a partnership with Carhartt. Through the Strikeouts for Vets program, Carhartt donates money in support of “Helmets to Hardhats,” a national nonprofit program that helps military members successfully transition back to civilian life. Sale is part of Carhartt’s starting line up that includes several other pitchers: Jacob deGrom, Felix Hernandez, Corey Kluber, and Michael Fulmer. For every strikeout made from their starting line up, the company donates $100. So far, more than $56,200 has been raised for the initiative.

 

RHP: Justin Verlander, Houston Astros

Verlander has his own foundation to support veterans, called Wins for Warriors. The All-Star pitcher has donated more than $1 million dollars to veteran non-profits since 2013 and has hosted more than 5,000 veteran family members to experience games at his suite. This work inspired him to create Wins for Warriors to empower veterans through family bonding activities and collaborations with other like minded organizations.

 

*The following players on the AL roster had no philanthropy info readily available. If anyone has any information on philanthropic work on any of these players, please comment below and let us know! 

C: Wilson Ramos, Tampa Bay Rays*

DH: J.D. Martinez, Boston Red Sox*

2B: Gleyber Torres, New York Yankees*

OF: Michael Brantley, Cleveland Indians*

LHP: Aroldis Chapman, New York Yankees*

RHP: Edwin Diaz, Seattle Mariners*

RHP: Joe Jimenez, Detroit Tigers*

RHP: Blake Treinen, Oakland Athletics*

 

WOW! It is awesome to see all the great work being done with the 2018 American League All-Stars. For those keeping score, that’s 26 out of 34 All-Stars from the American League that are doing great work in the community (76%). The American League was just barely beat out by the National League, which had 29 out of 34 All-Stars engaged in community work (85%). But the fact that 80% of the All-Star rosters are out there in the community should make everyone feel like winners. 

 

 

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