The lack of baseball on what should be Opening Day is palpable, almost tangible. Regional sports networks around the country are airing classic games for fans to re-live. Reporters are taking to social media to share their favorite Opening Day photos — can I interest you in a 1980s Ken Rosenthal, Tim Kurkjian and Richard Justice throwback? — as well as stories and memories from covering season openers. Jameson Taillon, Marcus Stroman and dozens of other players are also sharing past Opening Day moments and reaching out to fans at a time when we all pine for normalcy. #OpeningDayAtHome is trending on Twitter.
“Even though we are apart, we can come together,” says Mike Trout at the end of a poignant video package produced by Major League Baseball. It’s a sentiment that’s not only being articulated by the game’s best player in that clip but one that’s been embodied by players and teams throughout the game. As the COVID-19 pandemic has uprooted our daily routines, fundamentally changed the manner in which we socialize and brought to light the myriad elements of our lives that are far too easily taken for granted, the baseball community has endeavored to lend a helping hand in countless ways.
The California Strong Foundation, founded by Christian Yelich, Mike Moustakas, Ryan Braun and Rams quarterback Jared Goff, announced that it will be donating 100,000 meals to Feeding America. Jason Heyward donated $200,000 to a pair of Chicago-based charities, while teammate Anthony Rizzo’s foundation has expanded its Hope44 Meals initiative to provide hot meals for patients and staff at Chicago hospitals (fans can contribute donations as well). Cardinals outfielder Dexter Fowler is matching every dollar donated to Three Square Food Bank’s Coronavirus Emergency Fund, focusing on providing meals to children, seniors, veterans and furloughed workers. Freddie Freeman has contributed $125,000 to a trio of Atlanta charities.
Over in Pittsburgh, Pirates players took it upon themselves to support the local restaurant scene and support the city’s healthcare workers when buying 400 pizzas from local restaurants to feed the staff at Allegheny General Hospital. “We aren’t able to be up in Pittsburgh, but we wanted to let hospital workers on the front lines and local businesses that mean so much to our home city know that we’re thinking of them,” Taillon told Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “It was a no brainer from the players’ side.”
Recently retired players are stepping up, too. CC Sabathia’s charity is partnering with FreshDirect to donate boxes of food to children at the Boys & Girls Club in the Bronx. Dan Haren is auctioning off his collection of 300 bobbleheads and including a personalized note and anecdote pertaining to each player’s bobblehead; proceeds are being donated to the Children’s Action Alliance in Phoenix and to the Hollywood Food Coalition in Los Angeles — two charities to which Haren himself has already made sizable contributions in the wake of the pandemic. The Diamondbacks, White Sox, Athletics and others have donated hundreds of thousands of dollars each to various community initiatives.
The ways in which baseball has reached out to the community are too plentiful to list. (By all means, though, share additional acts of goodwill in the comments and on social media.) We all badly miss the crack of the bat, the pop of a fastball hitting the catcher’s mitt and the inherent drama of a pitcher protecting a one-run lead in the ninth inning. But at a time when it’s so easy to lament what we’re missing, we at MLBTR thought it pertinent to shine a light on the many, many ways that this game we all love and cherish can still make us feel good.
Baseball will be back — whether it’s this summer, this autumn or even sometime in 2021. But the manner in which the athletes and teams that we love to follow, cheer and jeer are stepping up around the country and the globe serve to remind that the sport has evolved into more than a simple game. It’s a community and a collective agent of positive change that can inspire others and make a difference even when games aren’t being played. Stay safe, baseball fans.
Love this. Great article
I agree. Three beat writers assigned to one team? The internet was not the only factor that contributed to the decline of print media.
lets stay upbeat – it will be back this year
Best I can do is we probably lose this one season, but 2021 will be back to normal again. That’s upbeat, kinda!
Wrong again. You suffer from a major case of dunning-kruger syndrome. Pretty much the poster boy for it.
You obviously haven’t done the math. Either we put the kabosh on the virus in April, which doesn’t look likely at the rate deaths are currently increasing (33% per DAY), or it’s going to get out of control and it’ll be a long time before people will be congregating in large numbers again. Something completely unexpected would have to happen to change that. Do the math. Figure it out before you speak out. Start with 1,080 deaths as of today and increase by 33% each day. The numbers of deaths per day and total overall deaths get very large very quickly. What do you think will happen to change that? Explain.
Rumor has it Jays signed intl free agent Jeury Hiciano. Where’s the write up?
It is reported to have happened around the 13th of March, The team has not announced it yet and the fact it is a minor league deal as the kid is only 19 years old could be why there has been no official announcement.
All American Johnsonville Dogs
Buy a ps4
Buy MLB the show
Play your favorite team computer vs computer
Watch, scream at the tv, curse at the players, call em bums, cry, and please post and ridiculous trade the computer makes for your team.
Can you manage the roster, pick the lineups, choose the starting pitcher and decide substitutions if you play MLB The Show computer vs. computer? I’m not interested in learning to pitch and hit like a major leaguer. I just want to manage. Baseball Mogul lets me do that but it’s too buggy and it doesn’t support a decent double switch. I looked at a tutorial of MLB The Show on YouTube and it’s much more complicated than I’m interested in. Again, I don’t want to learn to pitch or hit like a major leaguer…
All American Johnsonville Dogs
I think you can override it yes. If you’re manager of a team I think you can do the things you want.
Been a minute since I’ve played, 2017.
Theres a mode for franchise. Were you dont hit pitch or field. 100% managing. Personally I dont see the fun in that.
Theres also quick manage that only takes 10mins
Unless I can periodically wake up from my afternoon nap to listen to Bob Uecker, its not the same. We only have a few years left of him! Dont waste it!
All American Johnsonville Dogs
Ask mlb the show to includes digital download for broadcaster voices
Can even do legendary ones like Vin skully or Jerry coleman
Bob Uecker is one of the best. Not even a brewers fan. How could anyone dislike Harry Doyle call games and his infamous call “just a bit outside” and “Ball 4, Ball 8, Ball 12”
Just get OOTP 21. It’s very fun.
How much better than 20 though?
Not a bad idea, but I broke myself from game consoles years ago. Maybe there’s a PC version…
OOTP is only on PC
This is why God is a baseball fan. For, as we all know, the world was created in the big inning.
Damn I love baseball. Cheers to each and every one of you that are on this site like I am. It doesn’t matter your age, race, sex or religion or even favorite team. Baseball doesn’t care and neither should you. It is for us all and something that we all keep close to our hearts. We miss our nation’s past time and I know it will be even better and more special once it’s back. Be nice and caring to each other out there…