Hall of Fame pitcher Pedro Martinez has helped raise more than $550,000 for COVID-19 relief in his native Dominican Republic.
The former Boston Red Sox great joined with a group of 40 current and former MLB players to support the nation with protective equipment, food and essential supplies, according to ESPN's Marly Rivera.
"The Dominican Republic has always been my home, and right now it truly needs our help. Being supported in this effort by so many of my fellow players is an honor," Martinez told Rivera. "These are people without the most basic needs, and we are blessed to be in a position to help, and it is our duty to do so."
Among those involved in the coalition are David Ortiz, Edwin Encarnacion, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Manny Machado, Albert Pujols, Miguel Sano, Juan Soto, Gary Sanchez and Luis Severino.
"The focus of the help we're providing will be twofold," Carolina Martinez, Pedro's wife and director of the Pedro Martinez Foundation, told Rivera. "First, we are providing food to needy families, especially to the many that have lost their jobs. Players will be in charge of distributing meal kits in their respective communities. Second, we are providing protective equipment to our medical personnel. As it happened all over the world, the Dominican Republic is short on medical supplies to deal with a pandemic of this magnitude. It's amazing and humbling to see all these players and artists come together to support our homeland."
Rivera noted Major League Baseball and the Players Association will also announce a donation to Dominican relief efforts sometime next week, with commissioner Rob Manfred personally committing a donation during a recent conference call with Martinez and other players from the coalition.