By RENALDO DORSETT
Tribune Sports Reporter
TWENTY-one Bahamian players are signed to minor league deals with 15 clubs across Major League Baseball and it influenced the league to assist with Hurricane Dorian Relief efforts on a day celebrating one of the sport’s iconic humanitarians.
The MLB in conjunction with MLB players’ union announced a joint donation of $210,000 to be equally dispersed between Project Hope, Water Mission, and SBP.
The announcement came September 18 as the league celebrated Roberto Clemente Day. The late Pittsburgh Hall of Fame wore No. 21 and was known for his standout performances on the field as well as his humanitarian efforts.
The donation is expected to assist with immediate medical supplies, water infrastructure and consumption, and long-term rebuilding efforts, respectively.
The list of Bahamian players in MLB farm systems includes Jazz Chisholm, Anfernee Seymour and Ian Lewis (Miami Marlins), Lucius Fox Jr (Tampa Bay Rays), Chavez Young (Toronto Blue Jays), D’Shawn Knowles and Trent Deveaux (Los Angeles Angels), Kristian Robinson (Arizona Diamondbacks), Shard Munroe (Cincinnati Reds), Todd Isaacs Jr (Colorado Rockies), Chavez Fernander (Detroit Tigers), Tahnaj Thomas (Pittsburgh Pirates), Davonn Macky (Oakland Athletics), Keithron Moss and Zion Bannister (Texas Rangers), D’Vaughn Knowles (New York Yankees), Warren Saunders (New York Mets), Orveo Saint (Milwaukee Brewers), James Rolle and Dax Stubbs (Baltimore Orioles) and Everett Cooper (Houston Astros).
“Hurricane Dorian has devastated parts of the Bahamas, a country that members of our baseball family call home,” Baseball Commissioner Robert Manfred said. “We hope that our contribution with the players will help ease the challenges faced by Bahamians during this critical time and support the continuing rebuilding effort of the country.”
Tony Clark, executive director of the MLBPA, said: “Players have witnessed the devastation and destruction as well as the pain and suffering caused by natural disasters like Hurricane Dorian and they want to continue to join recovery and rebuilding efforts and offer hope to those who have lost so much.”
Water Mission is on the ground providing emergency safe water solutions to the affected communities, Project HOPE is a renowned global health and humanitarian relief organisation which addresses the world’s greatest public health challenges, transforming lives and uplifting communities and SBP is recognised as a leader in disaster resilience and recovery, with a mission to shrink the time between disaster and recovery.
“As we celebrate my father’s life today on Roberto Clemente Day throughout Major League Baseball, the Clemente family applauds the efforts of Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association to support relief efforts in the Bahamas.
The Clemente family encourages everyone to continue my father’s legacy of helping those in need and to support this effort,” said Luis Clemente, son of the late Hall of Famer.
Roberto Clemente Day was established by the Major League Baseball to honour the legacy of the Hall of Famer and 15-time All-Star.
Clemente died in a plane crash on New Year’s Eve 1972 while attempting to deliver supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua.
In his honour, MLB annually presents the Roberto Clemente Award to recognise the player who best represents the game of baseball through sportsmanship, community involvement and positive contributions, both on and off the field.