I, for one, really enjoy reading what the players are doing, in a philanthropic sense, with their big pay checks. For me, it eases my ire that some lucky jerks get to make multi-million dollars each year to play baseball.
I understand the hard work that goes in to making a career out of a sport, but nonetheless, it is nice to see some “paying it forward” going on.
The Yankees take a lot of flak from people across the country for their big pay days, but a good number of current, and former, Yankees are quick to share.
Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixiera both gave back to their alma maters in the forms of cold hard cash.
Teixiera signed a girthy 8-year $180M contract with the Yankees two days before Christmas. This past week, Tex made an appearance in conjunction with a $500K donation to Georgia Tech University.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Teixeira has donated to Georgia
Tech every year since he was the Rangers’ first-round selection in
2001, but the $500,000 pledge marked his largest offering yet.
Rodriguez, on the other hand, dropped a weighty $3.9M donation to Miamu University for their baseball facilities back in 2002, during the time period he admittedly used performance enhancing substances.
Well known as the highest paid baseball player in history, Rodriguez was honored for his contribution by the school at the annual “Dinner on the Diamond” event at the university. The UM facility now bears the name “Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field” and will be home to the Hurricanes baseball team.
A-Rod and Tex aren’t the only cheerful givers. Yankees captain Derek Jeter’s Turn 2 Foundation has raised over $8M from its various events to help disadvantaged children in New York, Western Michigan, and Tampa, Florida.
Long time catcher, Jorge Posada, also has charitible work. The Jorge Posada Foundation, named after his son, is an endowment to help families with children diagnosed with Craniosynotosis in affording necessary surgeries, as well as help fund research for hospitals in this particular field. The Posadas have donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to various hospitals and individuals to help others in need.
Nick Swisher is another individual with a generous heart now covered in pinstripes. Swish is involved in more organizations than I could count. He spends time hanging out with kids, gives money to medical and educational organizations, supports the troops overseas. and even once dyed his goatee pink for Breast Cancer Awareness on Mother’s Day. Although, he won’t be doing that with the Yankees and their “high and tight” folicle policies.
Bobby Abreu was another frequent contributor through his Abreu’s Amigos and Abreu’s Finest Charity Wines. In 2001, during his stint with the Philadelphia Phillies, Bobby was awarded the Honorary Chairman of the American Red Cross Blood Drive. He was honored as the Phillies recipient of the Roberto Clemente Award in 2004.
Another big giver is lead-off hitter Johnny Damon, who in 2008 was the Yankees recipient of the Roberto Clemente award with proceeds going to the Children’s Health Fund. He has also worked with Wounded Warrior Project in bringing relief to wounded veterans. Damon, like his new teammate Nick Swisher, has also donated his long hair (from days with the Red Sox) to charitable causes.
But the Evil Empire needs an Emporer and George M Steinbrenner III is there to lead the charge. The multi-billionaire has donated so much money to various charities and civic programs that Legends Field was renamed Steinbrenner Field by the Town and County Councils. They are also opening a Tampa area school that is named after “The Boss.”
There may be a lot of money floating around the Bronx, but there is a lot of money going even further toward making this world a better place to be.
Information courtesy of:
A-Rod speaks at University of Miami
A-Rod has Teixeira’s Support
Turn 2 Foundation
Jorge Posada Foundation
Damon Yankees’ Clemente Nominee
This Purist Bleeds Pinstripes: There’s Some Good in the World
* found this article after I wrote out everything here. Tons more info in here too. Get away from the steroid crap and read about some heroes!