Arizona Diamondbacks Spread Much Christmas Cheer with Charity This Past Decade

Gil ImberAnalyst IIDecember 25, 2011

Diamondbacks Managing General Partner Earl G. "Ken" Kendrick, Jr.
Diamondbacks Managing General Partner Earl G. "Ken" Kendrick, Jr.Christian Petersen/Getty Images

In a sport where top athletes earn tens of millions of dollars annually, the Arizona Diamondbacks have allowed us all to take a step back and contemplate the humanitarian side of baseball.

Most MLB teams take part in year-round philanthropic efforts, but for a team like Arizona whose payroll ranked 25th out of 30 MLB teams in 2011, charity takes on an added meaning.

Earlier this month, the Diamondbacks hosted their annual Winter Classic Holiday Party, where shoes, backpacks, books and other apparel were gifted to children from the Phoenix area in an offseason celebration at the ballpark.

At the time, team president Derrick Hall said, "We do so much for the community because we know we can and we enjoy doing it."

Among the familiar faces at Chase Field during the yearly festival were Willie Bloomquist, J.J. Putz, Stephen Drew, Ryan Roberts, Barry Enright and newcomer Paul Goldschmidt.

Later that week, the Diamondbacks hosted another holiday party at a local Boys and Girls Club.

Added managing general partner Ken Kendrick, "This is the time of giving back and we really want to help the kids have a great Christmas."

The Arizona Republic recently revealed the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation gave nearly $15 million to charity from the 2000-01 fiscal year through 2009-10. By comparison, the nearby Phoenix Suns donated $8.67 million to charity during the 21st century's first decade.

Hall added that in 2011 alone, the Diamondbacks have given $708,000 to 62 non-profit organizations, with Kendrick the team's unofficial pioneer for philanthropic affairs.

With Angels slugger Albert Pujols set to earn the enormous sum of $254 million over the next 10 years—or about $25.4 million per year—it is easy to forget about those less fortunate.

As we awake on this 25th of December, we take pause to reflect and remember.

Because the Diamondbacks and their managing GP Kendrick are truly Arizona baseball's version of elves and Saint Nick.