As we enter the MLB All-Star break we highlight some of our top campaigns from the first half of the season. Whether it’s been Stealing Bases to Stop Cancer, or Pitching in for Rescue Animals, players across the league have raised nearly a million dollars in charitable donations toward 17 different causes. Here are a few of our top Major League Baseball Stars— on and off the field!
Max Scherzer: Pitching in for Rescue Animals
- 181 strikeouts (leads Major League Baseball)
- $30,395 earned in estimated funds benefitting the Humane Rescue Alliance
- Every Scherzer strikeout is worth $106
This season, Washington Nationals’ ace Max Scherzer is supporting the lifesaving work of the Humane Rescue Alliance. As avid animal lovers— he and his wife Erica have adopted four dogs and two cats— they want to save lives and promote the bond animals bring to their humans.
"Erica I are lifelong animal advocates," Scherzer explained. "When we moved to the Washington, DC area we wanted to stay involved in animal welfare. We have seen firsthand the positive impact of the human-animal bond and we believe it's extremely important to share the joy that animals bring with everyone."
The Scherzers are matching every dollar raised through the campaign to fund rescue, adoption, and humane education for critters in the Nation's Capital. In order to rally the DC community to their cause, Pitching in for Rescue Animals offers prizes including autographed Scherzer gear for those that pledge for the entire season, or make a one-time donation exceeding $70.
Trea Turner: Steal Bases to Stop Cancer
- 17 stolen bases (third in National League)
- $37,917 in estimated funds benefitting the V Foundation
- Every Turner stolen base is worth $991
Another Washington Nationals’ standout, Trea Turner, and his wife Kristen were student-athletes at NC State. NC State is also home to the legendary basketball coach Jim Valvano, the V Foundation's namesake. “Like so many others, we have lost family members to cancer, so it means a lot to us to partner with one of the premier supporters of cutting-edge cancer research,” Turner said. “That’s why I’ll be donating $500 for every steal this season to the V Foundation for Cancer Research.”
In spite of injury setback that cost him over a month to the start of his season, Turner came back with a vengeance to remain one of the league’s top base stealers. In addition to his pledge, the Nationals’ shortstop has engaged the Washington fanbase by offering up a signed game-used base, tickets to a 2020 Nationals’ home game, and a meet and greet for those that pledge or donate.
Tim Anderson: Stealing Away at Senseless Violence
- 15 stolen bases (8th in American League)
- $18,540 earned in estimated funds to benefit Anderson’s League of Leaders
- Every Anderson stolen base is worth $685
On May 7, 2017, Tim Anderson’s world was rocked when his best friend Branden Deon Moss was shot and killed. Moss was trying to help a man who was being assaulted when his life was taken. The tragedy inspired Anderson to put an end to senseless violence and found Anderson’s League of Leaders.
“My Pledge It campaign is your chance to join me— to help build the leaders of tomorrow, to help change the culture of violence, and to give kids an outlet to stay away from the temptations and dangers of the street,” Anderson explained about his campaign.
The Chicago White Sox' shortstop ended the first half of the season on the injured list, but still was amongst the league leaders in stolen bases. Anderson himself personally pledged $500 per stolen base, and has inspired White Sox fans to join him. He has been thrilled with the start to his campaign:
“Using Pledge It has been awesome,” he told the team in an exclusive interview. “To be able to connect with the South Side has been a great experience for both. I'm looking forward to seeing how many people we can help the rest of the season."
Jake Diekman: Gut it Out
- $19,012 raised in estimated funds toward the Gut it Out Foundation
- 53 strikeouts
- Every Diekman strikeout is worth $233 for Gut it Out
Kansas City Royals’ pitcher Jake Diekman is one of 1.6 million Americans affected by Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). He is using his platform as a Major League pitcher to find a cure for Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis, and improve the quality of life of others with IBD. The cause has been especially personal to Diekman. When he sees IBD patients in the hospital for months at a time, he truly knows their pain, and is doing all he can to help.
“I am passionate about raising money to improve the quality of life for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients and investing in research to find a cure because I know the toll that IBD can take on an individual, both physically and mentally,” Diekman explained. “Children are robbed of their childhood due to the diseases and their side effects. That’s why I’m pledging $100 per strikeout to help fund crucial research projects making advancements toward finding a cure for Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis, and to improve the quality of life for those affected by IBD.”
Diekman's personal battle with IBD is why he and his wife Amanda founded the Gut It Out Foundation. The goal is to connect patients and caregivers through education and inspiration to strengthen relationships and resources within the IBD community. Diekman has offered rewards such as signed baseballs, tickets to a Royals game, and a meet and greet for those that pledge or donate.
Thank you to all of the Major League Baseball players who are using their platforms to promote social good. It’s been a great start to the season, and we look forward to seeing what you have in store for the second half!