Sunday is New Year's Eve. As we approach the end of 2017, I have many great memories of the year that was when it comes to baseball, especially how incredibly entertaining (again) the World Series was and how cool it is to see a fan base cheer for their first-ever World Series champion. Cool for you, Houston.
Of course, I also can't help but think about Houston and what the city and region went through earlier in the year.
Somewhat connected to that, every New Year's Eve, I think about Roberto Clemente. As many baseball fans know, Clemente was killed on New Year's Eve exactly 45 years ago while attempting to deliver aid to earthquake victims in Nicaragua.
Given the confluence of these things in addition to always enjoying putting out positive stories when we can, let's point out some of the charitable things Major League Baseball did in 2017.
We can start with the award named in Clemente's honor, which was taken home by Anthony Rizzo of the Cubs this season. . Past winners such as Clayton Kershaw, Curtis Granderson and Andrew McCutchen, among many others, continue to give back to charitable ventures.
Another past Clemente Award winner is Carlos Beltran. He raised more than a reported $1.3 million in relief for his native Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina put forth incredible personal, physical effort to help as well (the St. Louis Post-Dispatch story is worth your time on this front). Astros shortstop Carlos Correa was another who helped out in a big way, sending a plane full of supplies.
These players were far from alone. Many did their part. We're just providing a few noteworthy examples.
Speaking of Correa, he also worked hard in teaming up with Houston Children's Charity for the Houston-area Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. Astros owner Jim Crane donated $4 million to the Harvey relief effort while MLB and MLBPA announced a $1 million joint donation. Players like Cardinals first baseman Matt Carpenter and Angels superstar Mike Trout donated money. Much more information about many more players being involved can be found here.
Major League Baseball and its players don't just react to natural disasters. They give all the time. MLB continues it's strong involvement as a founding donor to Stand Up To Cancer. For more info on that,.
And here's another feel-good moment from this year. During the All-Star Legends and Celebrity Softball Game in Miami, 10-year-old Arkansas native and three-time cancer battler Jacob Teel was given an at-bat in place of Al Leiter and he ended up getting on base. Here it is:
That seems like a good place to stop, no?
By no means was this meant to exclude anyone at all. Major League Baseball has hundreds of players who give back in a number of ways throughout every single year. This was just to highlight a few of the top 2017 moments when it came to charity. As we look back at the legacy of the late, great Roberto Clemente, perhaps this is the best way to carry on his legacy every New Year's Eve: Acknowledge how much good today's MLB players do.