MLB teams with Garth Brooks’ Teammates For Kids for childhood hunger

“Home Plate Project” initiative includes $900k commitment towards children in need

Major League Baseball has announced a league-wide initiative by all 30 MLB Clubs and more than four dozen Major League players to support childhood hunger prevention and battle food insecurity. The initiative, “Home Plate Project,” is in partnership with Garth Brooks’ Teammates For Kids Foundation (TFK) and Big League Impact, which was founded by St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright and is supported by Minnesota Twins pitcher Kyle Gibson.

“Home Plate Project” includes an overall $900,000 commitment, including $300,000 from MLB players, to help individual Club charities support local groups dedicated to fighting childhood hunger. Led by their player ambassadors in August, Clubs will fund efforts with local food organizations, or local affiliates of national organizations, to distribute food and non-perishables to children in need throughout the United States and in Canada. The initiative is expected to reach a minimum of 25,000 children providing more than 3.6 million meals. Currently in the United States, 1 in 6 children may not know where they will get their next meal.

“Teammates for Kids started with 67 baseball players 20 years ago, and as we look forward, we are excited to launch this project with ballplayers from every MLB team to help fight childhood hunger,” Brooks says in a press release. “The Home Plate Project is special for Teammates for Kids because it incorporates our founding principles of teaming up with athletes who have a passion for helping kids, such as Adam Wainwright and Kyle Gibson who help kids around the world through Big League Impact. The beauty of it all, 100% of the money that is getting donated to this effort will feed children in local communities.”

Wainwright says, “The collaboration between our foundation, Big League Impact, and Garth’s foundation, Teammates for Kids, all came together during Spring Training this year. Garth loves helping kids, and I care deeply about providing the basic essential needs that are so important to everyday living, such as food, water and shelter, which many of us often take for granted. It has been a tremendous blessing for me to see so many players, who compete against each other every day, unite together to help children across the country, in every Major League city, who are in need.”

“It’s an exciting moment for the baseball community and fans as we launch this partnership to address food insecurity for kids all across the country,” Gibson shares. “It’s impossible to predict success in the first year of any partnership, but the involvement of dozens of Major League players, representing all 30 teams, in the middle of summer when there’s so much happening on the field, shows that this is an issue that is important to our entire sport. It’s a really encouraging feeling to know that this is the start of something that will create meaningful impact for many years to come.”

“Major League Baseball is proud to support our Clubs and Players in addressing this serious issue affecting millions of children,” states Melanie LeGrande, Vice President of Social Responsibility, Major League Baseball. “The Home Plate Project is a collaborative effort that will serve as a powerful demonstration of the baseball community standing together in support of children who are in need.”

Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2019, Teammates For Kids began with the support of 67 Major League Baseball players who made a pledge to help kids. Since then, more than 4,700 professional athletes from baseball, football, basketball, hockey, soccer, rodeo and racing have joined the TFK team. Since its inception in 1999, the Teammates For Kids Foundation and its network of thousands of professional athletes has distributed funds to charities focusing on children’s health, education, and inner-city outreach, through building Child Life Zones, supporting youth athletic programs, and funding life-saving surgeries.

Big League Impact, Inc. is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization with a mission to help meet basic human needs like food, clean water, medical care and shelter, in an effort to restore dignity and hope to people in the US communities and around the globe. Started by St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright in 2013 as a fantasy football fundraiser, Big League Impact has grown from coast-to-coast, now working with 80 MLB players, and having raised more than $4.5 million for athletes’ causes.

The list of player ambassadors for each MLB Club is as follows:

ARI – Nick Ahmed & Luke Weaver
ATL – Brian McCann & Mark Melancon
BAL – Trey Mancini & Chris Davis
BOS – Nate Eovaldi & Mitch Moreland
CHC – Steve Cishek & Daniel Descalso
CWS – Jon Jay & James McCann
CIN – Tucker Barnhart & Curt Casali
CLE – Jason Kipnis
COL – Daniel Murphy & Brian Shaw
DET – Tyson Ross
HOU – Will Harris & Ryan Pressly
KC – Ian Kennedy
LAA – Andrew Heaney & *Tyler Skaggs*
LAD – Clayton Kershaw & David Freese
MIA – Martin Prado
MIL – Chase Anderson
MIN – Kyle Gibson & Martín Pérez
NYM – Steven Matz & Jacob deGrom
NYY – Aaron Hicks
OAK – Stephen Piscotty & Liam Hendriks
PHI – JT Realmuto & Aaron Nola
PIT – Josh Bell & Trevor Williams
SD – Austin Hedges & Ian Kinsler
SEA – Marco Gonzales & Sam Tuivailala
SF – Tony Watson
STL – Andrew Miller & Adam Wainwright
TB – Tommy Pham & Charlie Morton
TEX – Hunter Pence & Lance Lynn
TOR – Randal Grichuk & Clayton Richard
WAS – Brian Dozier & Yan Gomes

*In memoriam to honor Tyler’s legacy alongside his best friend Andrew Heaney*

Author: Buddy Iahn

Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.