Freddie Freeman, Jason Heyward latest MLB stars to donate to coronavirus relief causes

Major League Baseball, like many sports leagues around the world, has been shut down indefinitely because of the growing threat that is the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Spring Training has been suspended and Opening Day has been pushed back to at least mid-May, and that remains subject to change as the situation develops.   

Earlier this week MLB announced all 30 teams will donate $1 million to help seasonal ballpark employees hurt by baseball being on hiatus. Commissioner Rob Manfred cited a "desire to help some of the most valuable members of the baseball community" as the reason for launching the initiative.

Several players have personally donated to various causes as well. Astros star George Springer donated $100,000 to employees at Minute Maid Park and his teammate Alex Bregman donated 1,000 food kits to the Houston Food Bank. Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman and Cubs outfielder Jason Heyward, former teammates in Atlanta, are the latest players to make donations.

According to ESPN's Jeff Passan, Freeman has pledged $50,00 to the Atlanta Food Bank and $50,000 to the Giving Kitchen, a program that provides emergency assistance to food service workers. Freeman has also donated $25,000 to the Salvation Army, bringing his total outlay to $125,000.

As for Heyward, Passan says he has donated $200,000 to coronavirus relief in Chicago, split between two organizations. Heyward is giving $100,000 each to the Greater Chicago Food Depository and MASK, an organization that is collecting supplies and food for families impacted by the virus.

Freeman, Heyward, Springer, and Bregman are among the first baseball figures to publicly pledge financial support to their communities. They follows in the footsteps of NBA players like Kevin Love and Zion Williamson who have also announced their respective donations towards helping arena staff.

CBS News has the latest updates about the virus, which has affected various sports globally and in the United States. Here at CBS Sports we have a running updates on how sports leagues are responding to coronavirus.   

CBS Sports Writer

Mike Axisa joined CBS Sports in 2013. He has been a member of the BBWAA since 2015 and has previously written about both fantasy baseball and real life baseball for MLBTradeRumors.com, FanGraphs.com, RotoAuthority.com,... Full Bio

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