Baseball donates $1 million for Sandy relief efforts

By John Schlegel / | 11/02/12 5:30 PM ET

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The devastation wrought by Hurricane Sandy has taken a toll on communities where Major League Baseball teams live alongside fans as neighbors and friends, and now many of those neighbors and friends need some help to recover and rebuild.
It takes a team to get through a crisis like the damage inflicted over the last week, and baseball's team of teams, players and fans around the country, is gathering forces to help assist those in need in the wake of the "superstorm" that hit with such force in New York, New Jersey and elsewhere on the Eastern seaboard and inland areas.
To that end, Major League Baseball announced Friday that in conjunction with the Major League Baseball Players' Association a donation of $1 million is being made to benefit the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army and Feeding America to assist in the efforts being made 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. "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: "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."
The message from Major League Baseball, its players, its 30 teams and is simple: Please donate to the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army and Feeding America. Help your neighbors and friends, and be a part of the team bringing relief where it's needed.
With the Commissioner's Office and MLBPA headquartered in Manhattan, two storied teams in New York and about one-third of Major League cities directly affected by the storm, this obviously is a disaster that struck home for baseball. But it's one that touches every community in some way, and baseball is gathering its resources to help.
Living right in the path of the destruction, the Yankees were among the first clubs to step up to support relief efforts, pledging $500,000 to the American Red Cross and spearheading a blood drive Friday that included tickets to a 2013 game for those who made donations 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 announcing the donation.
Clearly, it's going to take more than the hometown team to help, and baseball's all about teamwork.
One team that already has pledged its support took team concept to the sport's pinnacle: the Giants, 2012 World Series champions after an October in which they showed resilience on a baseball field that was historic -- but nothing compared to the resilience needed now in areas hit hard by Sandy.
And so it was that the Giants' victory celebration -- on the steps of City Hall before the crowd of about one million that attended the parade -- 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. And she urged fans to join the effort by donating to the American Red Cross.
"Just think," she said. "Everybody here today, one dollar from all of us, what that can do. That can really, really help."
It takes neighbors coming together to help, and it really can add up.
The Oakland A's -- the Giants' neighbor in the Bay Area -- 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, and the message will continue to be spread on and MLB Network and in every possible way in every city in Major League Baseball's vast neighborhood of teams and fans: