George Springer, Trevor Story Giving $150K to Benefit Black, Underprivileged Athletes

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVMay 26, 2021

HOUSTON, TEXAS - MAY 07: George Springer #4 of the Toronto Blue Jays waves to fans prior to the start of a game against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on May 07, 2021 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

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."

Jon Morosi @jonmorosi

Great cause and announcement today by George Springer, @Tstory2 and @PerfectGameUSA. @BlueJays @Rockies @PlayBall pic.twitter.com/xUXxkdpC75

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."