Rays Host Signing to Benefit Tampa Woman

Bill Chastain of MLB.com offers a quick hit on yesterday’s autograph signing fundraiser for a young Tampa woman with cancer that raised $15,950 including $5,000 by the Tampa Bay Rays, who bought 18 dozen signed balls with a special cancer-fighting hologram that will be donated to charity.

David Price, Matt Garza, B.J. Upton and Evan Longoria were among the Rays players who signed (MLB.com, 3/14).

UMPS CARE Auction Back for Second Year

The UMPS CARE online auction has returned for a second year. All proceeds from the auction go toward the organization’s youth charity programs, but especially to support the organization’s Blue Crew ticketing program, which provides an opportunity for at-risk children and children who are waiting to be adopted to attend Major League game. Click here to get in on the auction.

“We raise the money to be able to purchase where we need to purchase,” UMPS CARE Executive Director Samuel Dearth said. “When we started the program, we said we’re not just going to be a ticket organization. If you are a 10-year-old boy or girl, and you’re in that environment, you’ll see that there are parents with their kids and those kids are getting everything.”

MLB.com’s Bailey Stephens reports that last year’s auction raised more than $20,000, but noted that he the auction was held in conjunction with the organization’s golf classic. This year, the auction is being held separately to coincide with Spring Training.

While UMPS CARE’s Blue Crew ticket program is able to provide a memorable day of baseball for the kids, Dearth told Stephens that “it can also serve to reinforce the efforts of the recruiters’ main goals: to find the children permanent homes.”

Dearth: “In order for a boy or young boy to be adopted, [the recruiter has] to have the cooperation and trust of the child. This gives them an opportunity to share with their kids in their care to strengthen that relationship. The baseball experience is a fun experience. But what we hear from ‘Wendy’s wonderful kids’ recruiters is nothing but positive feedback, because it is just an opportunity for the kids to get down on the field, do something unique, make those kids feel special” (Bailey Stephens, MLB.com, 3/12/09).

Royals’ DeJesus Stays Active in Kansas City Area

David DeJesus 275Kansas Royals LF David DeJesus is participating in the 2009 Kansas City Ability Day on Sunday. The third annual event helps disabled persons and their families to stay active and live well.

DeJesus, who participated with the many youngsters for the first time last year, recently caught up with MLB.com’s Dick Kaegel.

“They were playing softball, and I was the pitcher, and they liked seeing if they could hit against me,” DeJesus told Kaegel. “It was fun, seeing the smiles on their faces and just having them run around and having a good time. I think that’s the most important thing. Maybe their dream was to be a baseball player and now they’re playing against and getting hits off a professional baseball player, so that’s just one of those things in their lives that they can say they’ve done.” [Read more…]

Tickets-for-Charity’s New Approach to Fundraising

Tickets_for_CharityProgress Avenue reported late last week the Tickets-for-Charity has partnered with the Boston Red Sox on a ticket program to support the Red Sox Foundation. In today’s Boston Herald, Donna Goodson shed some more light on the four-year-old Tickets-for-Charity.

Tickets-for-Charity is led by Jord Poster, who founded Priceline.com. Goodson notes that under the Tickets-for-Charity banner, Poster has helped raise more than $800,000 for the Red Sox Foundation. [Read more…]

Youks’ Hits for Kids Celebrates Two Years

Youks Hits for KidsThe Boston Herald reports today that Boston Red Sox 1B Kevin Youkilis and his wife Enza celebrated the two-year anniversity of the Hits for Kids charitable organization, which is dedicated to rallying local and corporate support for charities and organizations focused on the health and wellbeing of children. Hits for Kids teams up with existing community-based children’s charities and medical research programs in New England and in Youkilis’ home town of Cincinnati, to help them raise money and awareness. The Herald also notes that the organization has raised close to $2 million in its first two years.

Tom Pagnozzi’s Event Now in its 18th Year

PagnozziCharities 150Pagnozzi Charities is gearing up for its biggest event of the year. The 18th Annual Tom Pagnozzi Charity Golf Tournament, Sports Auction and Celebration is slated for next week in Fayetteville, Ark. Tom Pagnozzi, the former MLB catcher, started the organization to reach disadvantaged youth throughout Arkansas, providing them with an open door to the same athletic experiences of their peers.

In Arkansas, Jason Minton gave the event a push in today’s Fayetteville Flyer. Minton: “Pagnozzi Charities provided almost 2,000 scholarships through the Pagnozzi Youth Sports Scholarship Program in 2008 and has targeted a distribution of 2,250 for 2009. These scholarships give children who might otherwise not have the opportunity, the chance to participate in baseball, football, soccer, basketball, golf, dance, cheer, and a host of other sports at an age when exercise, social interaction, and personal development are critical” (Fayetteville Flyer, 10/1).

Delta’s Charity Challenge Tied to Jeter’s and Wright’s Season Batting Averages

Wright vs. Jeter

Jeter vs. Wright carries a new storyline this year, as the New York sluggers accepted Delta Airlines’ charity challenge. In other news, UMPS CARE kicks off its 2009 season, while the Phillies are still reigning champs at charity fundraiser.

Jeter vs. Wright: NY1 reported that New York Yankees SS Derek Jeter and New York Mets 3B David Wright “are looking to out slug each other for charity by stepping up to the plate for their respective foundations” – Jeter’s Turn 2 Foundation and the David Wright Foundation.

Delta Airlines is donating “$100,000 to the player with the highest batting average, and $50,000 to the runner-up.” [Read more…]

MLB: Little League Opens 70th Season with National Tour Launch; MLBPA Irked by Ramirez Provision

Little League

Little League opened its 70th season with a National Opening Day event, which helped launch a “Baseball Design Across America” tour to promote the national pastime and support the youth sports organization. Also, the Dodgers’ “Ramirez Provision” caused a stir with the MLBPA, who have filed a grievance to stop team requirements for players to support charities.

Little League: MLB.com’s Ben Platt was at the National Opening Day for the 70th Little League season on March 24, and noted that former big leaguers Dave Winfield and Fred Lynn “served as celebrity coaches in the Opening Day game, giving the Little Leaguers a chance to interact with two of baseball’s all-time greats.” [Read more…]

Jackie Robinson Foundation Preserves Jackie’s Legacy

Jackie Robinson Foundation

MLB.com’s Tim Ott was on the ground during the Jackie Robinson Foundation’s 2009 Scholars Annual Networking Weekend, which culminated in the Foundation’s annual awards dinner, held March 16.

Jackie Robinson’s widow, Rachel, felt that establishing the Jackie Robinson Foundation “was the best way to preserve her husband’s legacy.” [Read more…]

In 2007, Diamondbacks Paced Phoenix Teams in Giving

The Arizona Diamonbacks’ community spirit runs deep in Phoenix, and then, bytes on Cal Ripken Jr. and the Jackie Robinson Foundation.

Arizona Diamondbacks

Arizona Diamondbacks: In Phoenix, Craig Harris reported that in 2007, the most recent record available, the Arizona Diamondbacks “gave away $2.8 million in cash and non-cash contributions.” The Phoenix Suns, Phoenix Coyotes and Arizona Cardinals “combined to give away $2.17 million, with the Suns giving more than half of that.” [Read more…]

This Week’s PSA: Joe Maddon for United Way of T.B.

Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon is featured in a new PSA for the United Way of Tampa Bay. Maddon: “Our community is generous, but the needs are greater than ever. Right here people are homeless, right here children are hungry, and right here your neighbors are hurting. I want you to look each other in the eyes, then give with your heart” (United Way of Tampa Bay).

Tigers’ Granderson Launches Scoring For Schools Effort

With the MLB season quickly approaching, the Tigers’ Curtis Granderson hopes to score some for his foundation. Then, the Baseball Tomorrow Fund and a Yankees effort is after the jump.

Scoring for Schools

Curtis Granderson: Detroit Tigers CF Curtis Granderson announced a new fundraising initiative for his Grand Kids Foundation called Scoring For Schools, which will help raise money for Michigan’s inner city public schools.

Individuals or companies will be able to donate money for every run Granderson scores during the 2009 regular season and playoffs. Those donating can spend as little as one cent for every run Granderson scores. [Read more…]