What: The MLBPA has announced the donation of more than a quarter million dollars through its Trust to Project C.U.R.E. in Mexico.
Why it matters: In conjunction with the highly successful MLB Mexico Series, and Latinos among MLBPA membership at an all-time high, connecting to the fan and player base through charity is critical.
The excitement of the MLB Mexico Series this weekend between the San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers in Monterrey, which players like Guadalajara native Christian Villanueva (@Villa_at_3B ) of the Padres have described as "a dream come true," in much the same way as Puerto Rican superstars Francisco Lindor () of Cleveland and José Berríos (@JOLaMaKina ) described their experience at MLB Puerto Rico last month, has had another tangible effect on the league and its players. The MLB Players Association (MLBPA), through its Players Trust (), on Saturday announced a collective donation of US $229,000 to Project C.U.R.E. and its partners in Mexico, to benefit two hospitals badly damaged in earthquakes last year.
With MLB's player rosters adding more of a Latin flavor every year, projects like these benefit the local regions but also solidify the ties between the association and its members.
The player's group's initiative, known as "Returning Home," has had natural connections in the two series that MLB has played in the two Latin American locales this year. With MLB's player rosters adding more of a Latin flavor every year, projects like these benefit the local regions but also solidify the ties between the association and its members, many of whom have families and friends affected by the kinds of disasters that these funds benefit.
"Project C.U.R.E. has the honor of working with MLBPA, representing its players, and our partner, Fundación Curando México, to provide health and hope to Mexico," said Dr. Douglas Jackson, President and CEO of Project CURE, in a translated statement. "We understand the difficulties underway in health centers throughout Mexico and we hope to bring medical supplies. and much needed equipment to these medical providers so that they can provide good care to their patients."
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The Players Trust is an important initiative of MLBPA (), combining monetary donations with contributions of players' time and celebrity to benefit important causes like these. With baseball a global game more than ever (extending to games in London next year, as recently announced), having the association and the league involved in places where fans and players thrive is critical.
Jerry Milani is a freelance writer and public relations executive living in Bloomfield, N.J. He has worked in P.R. for more than 25 years in college and conference sports media relations, two agencies and for the International Fight League, a team-based mixed martial arts league, and now is the PR manager for Wizard World, which runs pop culture and celebrity conventions across North America. Milani is also the play-by-play announcer for Caldwell University football and basketball broadcasts. He is a proud graduate of Fordham University and when not attending a Yankees, Rams or Cougars game can be reached at Jerry (at) JerryMilani (dot) com.