Over the last 30 years, the rising popularity of Major League Baseball in the United States have helped turn professional baseball players into celebrities. While many of these superstars have become caught up in the glamor of the celebrity life, there are others who still have their feet firmly planted on the ground. The truth is that it is only the superstars in the game that come under heavy scrutiny by the media, whether it is with regard to their personal lives, or the causes they may support.
Much has been said about the charitable contributions of superstars like Alex Rodriguez and Barry Bonds, but there are several others within the game who have actually taken the lead when it comes to giving back to society. Let us take a look at some charities and foundations set up by players who may not have the same iconic status as the legends of the game, but still provide genuine contributions to society.
High Socks for Hope
David Robertson is a relief pitcher that plays for the New York Yankees team, which won the World Series in the year 2009. He has also been voted as an All Star in the 2011 season. Robertson, along with his wife Erin began the High Socks For Hope foundation in the year 2011, with an aim to provide relief and support for individuals whose livelihoods have been quashed by natural disasters like tornadoes and hurricanes. Robertson was moved to take up the initiative when his own hometown of Tuscaloosa in Alabama fell prey to a series of tornadoes. In the years 2011 and 2012, Robertson pledged that he would contribute $100 every time he recorded a strikeout. The season saw him record an astonishing 181 strikeouts.
Father's Heart Ranch
Albie Pearson is a retired center fielder who played in Major League Baseball during the 1950s and '60s. Pearson was particularly known for the fact that he was the shortest player in the league standing at a height of five feet six inches. Once his career as a professional baseball player came to an end, Pearson turned his attention from baseball to charity, setting up the Father's Heart Ranch in 1997. The Father's Heart Ranch provides shelter and care for 6-12 year-old boys from underprivileged backgrounds on a 11 acre property. The aim of the establishment is to provide a stable environment for these children so that they may have greater opportunities to succeed in the future.
Hudson Family Foundation
Tim Hudson is a pitcher who is currently listed as a free agent, but has played for the Oakland Athletics and Atlanta Braves since the start of his professional career in baseball. Hudson, along with his wife Kim set up the Hudson Family Foundation in 2009, with the intention of positively affecting the lives of children who are in need of emotional, physical or financial support. The foundation is entirely non-profit and functions solely on donations and contributions. Hudson has expressed on numerous occasions of the importance of being grateful for opportunities he got, and the need to give back to the community he came from.