Tagged: charitable initiatives

In it for the Long Haul

Approximately two and a half months have passed since the advent of superstorm Sandy, and the areas most affected by this meteorological calamity are still in the beginning stages of what has been and will continue to be a long and arduous clean-up process.

With the long view in mind, I wanted to dedicate (the bulk of) today’s post to informing you of/reminding you about a forward-thinking Lakewood BlueClaws initiative: Restore the Shore.


“Restore the Shore” is a multi-faceted and long-running program, which the BlueClaws are running in conjunction with several local businesses. It all starts with the purchase of a “Restore the Shore” t-shirt, which can be obtained HERE.


Per the team:

How It Works
– Companies, or individuals, order t-shirts online here and register by emailing restore@blueclaws.com or returning this registration form.

– Each Friday until Memorial Day, staff members (or families) wear the t-shirts and each person makes a donation every Friday.

– Donations are made through PayPal at BlueClaws.com/Restore orAtlanticPTCenter.com.

Businesses that participate will be honored in a ceremony at a 2013 BlueClaws game.

And then there’s this all-important question: Where does the money go?

More from the team:

The BlueClaws and Atlantic Physical Therapy Center are committed to supporting families impacted by Hurricane Sandy. In early 2013, those impacted will be able to fill out an application and donations will be made to as many families as possible.

The BlueClaws staff has been wearing their Restore the Shore shirts each and every Friday since the initiative started (I even spotted them doing so at the Baseball Winter Meetings in Nashville), and since then the movement has spread to other Minor League markets as well. Behold, the Lexington Legends.


Minor League Baseball charities has donated $10,000 to the program, thus far the largest single contribution received.


Kudos to the BlueClaws for taking the lead in such a long-running and impactful charitable initiative. I’ll continue to publicize and provide updates on these efforts as we move closer to Opening Day.

In (far) less notable news, remember last week when I gave some publicity to the retro baseball-card inspired staff bios of the State College Spikes?

Well, as a reward for my positive PR the team sent along my very own retro baseball card. I am honored.

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The above pic was a self-portrait taken during one of my “On the Road” stadium visits last season. The first person to identify in the comments where I was in that picture shall receive a random assortment of Minor League swag that I have lying in a box under my desk.

Good luck, and for (far) more 1987 Topps content click HERE to check out last year’s multi-part series on players included in that set who have gone on to Minor League coaching careers. It won me a Pulitzer.



Pulled Pork and Plenty of It

So, I’m curious — what sort of content do you most like to see on this blog? Throughout the season I’m constantly juggling between road trip material, random promotional highlights from around the Minors, and one-off explorations of various MiLB topics (such as last week’s introduction of the Universal Rain Check).

So, yeah, it would help if I had any sort of idea regarding what to prioritize. Or maybe you just love it all? I hope so. In fact, that’s what I’m going to assume from here on out. That everybody loves everything. I feel much better now.

And falling under the umbrella of “everything” would be this semi-recent Jackson Generals endeavor, as in mid-May the team took it upon themselves to create the “World’s Largest BBQ Sandwich.” I caught wind of this when I visited the team last month, and soon thereafter media relations assistant Bradley Field sent over some pictures. So let’s check them out!

You start with a little bread:

And then add some meat:

And then add some more meat:

And then add some more meat:

And then the piece de resistance — more bread!

Not gluten-free

That heaping mass was then broken into far more reasonable single-serving portions. Bon appetit!

This historic sandwich was created in conjunction with Southern Pride, a company that manufactures BBQ pits and smokers. A press release put out by the company will, hopefully, answer any pressing questions that you may have at this juncture.

The previous [BBQ Sandwich] record, set by Newbern, North Carolina, July 2010, was 1,341 pounds. The pulled pork sandwich produced by Southern Pride and cooked on two SP-1000 smokers, weighed in at 1,566 pounds. Official witnesses from the National Guard and local fire stations were on hand to confirm the totals.

Attendees were allowed to donate at least $5 to the Families of Fallen Soldiers Fund for a piece of the sandwich. Over 400 pounds of the sandwich were served to attendees at Pringles Park. Every ounce of the remaining 1,100 pounds were served to three local outreach ministries (Operation Hope, The Dream Center and The Care Center).

1566 pounds is a bit extreme, but Minor League Baseball-related charitable initiatives come in all sizes, shapes and forms. And, whenever possible, I am happy to highlight them. Today I’ll close with a link to “Autographs 4 Alopecia,” a philanthropically-minded project spearheaded by loyal reader Greg Glass and his two sons Blake and Gavin.

Blake, 11, explains the Autographs 4 Alopecia mission thusly:

My name is Blake and I’m 11 years old. I was diagnosed with alopecia areata at the age of 1 and have been pretty much bald my whole life. My brother Gavin and I love to go to baseball games and get autographs. In 2012 we are expanding beyond baseball and will include other sports as well. We have a total of 2,072 autographed cards going into the 2012 season. This season I will again be donating $.05 and my family will match it for $.10 per card or other item we get autographed to the National Alopecia Areata Foundation.

So there you have it — to check out the boys’ autographing adventures and/or to make a donation yourself, then simply click HERE.

And, no matter who you are or what you do, please know that my lines of communication are always open.