George Springer, Trevor Story Giving $150K to Benefit Black, Underprivileged AthletesMay 26, 2021
Toronto Blue Jays star George Springer and Colorado Rockies star Trevor Story are donating $150,000 to the Perfect Game Cares Foundation.
The money will be put toward "programs that will combat the systemic barriers that many Black youth athletes and underprivileged youth face."
Perfect Game, which was originally launched in 1993 to help grow amateur baseball at all levels, began its charitable foundation in 2003.
The aims of Perfect Game Cares extend beyond baseball. Executive director Jennifer Ford said the foundation raised more than $500,000 in 2020, which went toward pediatric cancer patients and children from underserved areas.
The donation by Springer and Story focuses on what has been a longstanding issue within youth baseball.
Washington Nationals first baseman Josh bell told Al Jazeera America's Ray Glier in 2014 he believed more and more children were being priced out of the sport.
"Baseball is one of those sports that is really expensive, and the showcases are starting earlier and earlier," he said. "The competition is getting stiffer, so the need for some sort of training outside of the hitting tee in the backyard comes more and more at an earlier age."
Writing for FanGraphs in 2018, Shakeia Taylor explained how the issue tied into the wider lack of diversity across MLB.
In announcing his decision to opt out of the 2020 season, two-time All-Star Ian Desmond recounted how he had recently visited the Little League fields on which he played in Sarasota, Florida. He called the fields "run down" and "neglected."
Desmond went on to say he "felt the triumph of success" and "the love of others" through his days playing at the youth level.
"I got to experience that because it was a place where baseball could be played by any kid who wanted it," he said. "It was there, it was affordable, and it was staffed by people who cared."