In less than 24 hours is the MLB non-waiver trade deadline. Players will come and go, but what happens to their charitable and philanthropic foundations when they move to a different team?
In most cases the foundations move with the players when they are traded, but their foundations leave a lasting impact on the previous community. Here are a few examples of players whose work in one city continues after he has been traded to another team.
The “Flyin Hawaiian,” with the help of his wife Melissa Victorino, started the Shane Victorino Foundation in Philadelphia in 2010 for the purpose of youth development, education, and wellness. Victorino was with the Phillies at the time, but has since become a Boston Red Sox. Even though Victorino is now in Beantown, his main project, the Victorino Nicetown Boys and Girls Club, is in an urban underserved area of Philadelphia. The Victorino Foundation still annually contributes upwards of a million dollars to the facility. In Boston, Victorino established the Flyin Hawaiian Ticket Program, which allows youth organizations to attend Red Sox games. In his native Hawaii, Victorino provides recreational and educational programs for at risk youth, while in Las Vegas the Foundation hosts an annual toy drive and holiday party for children facing poverty and homelessness.
While playing with the Blue Jays, Halladay started the “Doc’s Box” program, which gave sick children and their families at the Sick Kids Hospital, the second largest children’s hospital in North America, the opportunity to see a Blue Jays game from a suite at the Rogers Centre. In 2009 Halladay went to the Phillies but the suite known as Doc’s Box continued on as part of the Blue Jays Care Foundation. As a member of the Blue Jays, Halladay in his contract had $100,000 annually go to a charitable organization along with his work with the Sick Kids Hospital. This work in Toronto, lead him to create the Halladay Family Foundation when he became a member of the Philadelphia Phillies, which aims at giving back and serving the community in a variety of ways.
Joe Saunders and his wife Shanel Saunders wanted to help underserved youth in whatever community they were a part of, so while Joe was with the Los Angeles Angels in 2007 the Saunders began Team Saundo, a non-profit organization aimed at improving the lives of kids. Team Saundo continued its work when Joe Saunders was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2010 with the commitment to “Help fulfill the community needs of the Phoenix area with a focus on childhood education, well-being & empowerment through sports.” Saunder left a lasting impact and the Diamondbacks still continue on some of his philanthropic work, like Team Saundo backpack day. No matter where Joe Saunders has gone, Team Saundo has been a large part of his career. Now with the Seattle Mariners Saunders and his wife have continued their work in the greater Seattle area as well.
So whether or not your favorite player gets traded, know that it is examples like these that show the game of baseball and the great fans of baseball can be a driving force behind lasting change in the community.