Making big bucks as a professional athlete often means that financial decisions need to be made. It’s not all calculators and accountants, though. One way MLB superstars make use of their money is by donating to charitable causes they believe in, and it helps connect them with their fans and their local communities in a big way. While MLB has officially partnered with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, this is just a part of the giving spirit of some of the nation’s favorite baseball players.
Not only does the direct interaction with these charitable organizations benefit the people they serve directly, but it helps bring more exposure to the orgs. Also, baseball players are looked up to by many, and seeing how they reach out and help people (and places) in need can bring recognition to those causes. It can also inspire us to want to give back to our own communities and can raise awareness of issues we may not be enlightened to.
Here are some of the most generous players in the Majors and how they help raise awareness and help out those who need it most.
MLB Players Who Give Back the Most
Many MLB players get involved with a charity and some start their own foundations, but some MLB players choose to become involved with many charities. David Ortiz, who is currently playing in his last MLB season, tops out at six. Cal Ripken Jr. comes in just behind him at five, and famous Yankees players Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter (retired) both participate in four charity organizations each.
Ortiz, like many professional players, started his own foundation, the David Ortiz Children’s Fund. This charity helps children in both New England as well as in his home country of the Dominican Republic receive the critical health care they need but may not have access to. Big Papi also supports the Josh Beckett Foundation (Beckett himself helps support two charities) and the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, among others.
Ripken and his brother joined forces to found the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation, which works with at-risk youth in underserved areas and helps establish baseball and softball programs. The foundation also works to build youth development parks and playing fields. Baseball’s Iron Man also helps back the Living Classrooms Foundation and Bicycle for a Day, as well as a few others.
MLB and the Charities They Love
According to LookToTheStars.org, some charities get more MLB athlete support than others. The Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles claims three MLB superstars, making it one of the most supported MLB-wise.
Another top target for baseball’s best is Soles4Souls, which has distributed 26 million pairs of shoes to kids and adults in need around the globe. While many take having a pair of shoes for granted, it can be the difference between being able to attend school and go to work or not. This organization has garnered the help of three of baseball’s greats.
The Jason Taylor Foundation, which helps promote literacy and education among school kids, is another top org that also has gets support from a couple MLB players. The Jimmy Fund and the Josh Beckett Foundation also get support from two baseball guys each.
Top MLB Athletes for Charities
The Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles can count on three MLB stars for support, including David Ortiz, Josh Beckett, and retired player Nomar Garciaparra (who played a large chunk of his career with the Red Sox). It’s unsurprising that Ortiz chose this children’s hospital to support, as he has a special place in his heart for kids who are struggling with an illness.
MLB backers for Soles4Souls include Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, and Seattle’s Robinson Cano. These players are among several pro athletes who have donated game-worn cleats for fundraising auctions put on by the charity.
The Jason Taylor Foundation has a couple retired MLB benefactors, including former southpaw pitcher Al Leiter and 12-time All-Star Mike Piazza. And a couple of other charities get support from more than one MLB personality, including the Jimmy Fund (Brock Holt and Pablo Sandoval) and the Josh Beckett Foundation (David Ortiz and Josh Beckett).
These baseball benefactors are certainly worth looking up to. Fortunately, Fanatics.com has all your favorite MLB gear on hand, from caps to jerseys to T-shirts, so you can suit up and make a difference yourself.