Coronavirus: MLB teams each commit $1M to ballpark employees impacted by shutdown

Mark TownsendYahoo Sports Contributor
Yahoo Sports
All 30 Major League Baseball teams have committed to donating $1M to ballpark employees who will not be paid during coronavirus shutdown. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
All 30 Major League Baseball teams have committed to donating $1M to ballpark employees who will not be paid during coronavirus shutdown. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Coronavirus coverage on Yahoo)
(Coronavirus coverage on Yahoo)

Each of Major League Baseball's 30 teams will commit $1 million to ballpark employees who will be out of work while the regular season is postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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These employees, who would not otherwise be paid for as long as the regular season is delayed, will now receive some compensation.

MLB confirmed the news in a statement released by commissioner Rob Manfred.

Over the past 48 hours, I have been approached by representatives of all 30 clubs to help assist the thousands of ballpark employees affected by the delay in the start of the Major League Baseball season. Motivated by desire to help some of the most valuable members of the baseball community, each Club has committed $1 million. The individual clubs will be announcing more details surrounding this support effort in their local communities.

The timing of these announcements will vary because of the need to coordinate with state and local laws as well as collective bargaining obligations in an effort to maximize the benefits realized by each group of employees. I am proud that our clubs came together so quickly and uniformly to support these individuals who provide so much to the game we love.

On Monday, MLB confirmed the regular season would not begin until mid-May at the earliest. A delay that extends into the summer remains possible, which would greatly impact the income of ballpark employees.

MLB gets it right

This coordinated effort by MLB’s 30 teams sends a strong message of unity and generosity at a time when we need more of both. MLB deserves credit for getting organized and getting this right.

The league certainly didn’t want to repeat what we’ve seen in the NBA, where players like Zion Williamson, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Kevin Love were quick to make large donations to gameday workers while team owners lagged behind and faced backlash.

The news also comes one day after MLB and the MLB Players Association announced a joint $1 million donation that will be evenly split between Feeding America (FeedingAmerica.org) and Meals on Wheels America (MealsonWheelsAmerica.org).

MLB players get in the act

Several MLB stars are also doing their part to give back. George Springer and Alex Bregman of the Houston Astros got the ball rolling over the weekend. Springer donated $100,000 to stadium workers at the Astros home ballpark, Minute Maid Park. Bregman donated 1,000 food kits to the Houston Food Bank to ensure that 28,000 meals will be served to children who depend on free school lunches.

We’ve also learned that Chicago Cubs star Anthony Rizzo and the Anthony Rizzo Foundation are arranging the donation of meals to nurses, doctors and staff of Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital.

We miss the games and the distraction baseball often provides during trying times, but we’re thankful that the game and its stars are turning this into a season of giving and doing the right thing.  

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