Marlins' front office spreads cheer in South Florida

Employees visit schools, present donations around community

Marlins' front office spreads cheer in South Florida

MIAMI -- The business of baseball was put on the back burner for the Marlins on Thursday, but that didn't mean team employees had the day off.

In full force, they were dispatched around South Florida, pitching in and making an impact as part of the Marlins' fifth annual Day of Civic Engagement and Philanthropy.

"Twice a year, we actually close the office and every single employee participates in a day of service and philanthropy," Marlins president David Samson said. "Our front office is split into teams, and they go make a difference around the South Florida community."

Marlins employees traveled to various schools, interacting and honoring students. From Samson to president of baseball operations Michael Hill on down, club employees reached out to the community.

"We have full buy-in," Samson said. "We do things throughout the year, whether it's Thanksgiving or Christmas or New Year's Day or Passover. We're always doing things in the community, and we have complete buy-in from every single employee, from Mike Hill down to the assistant traveling secretary."

The initiative began at Marlins Park at 9 a.m. ET. By the end of the afternoon, $15,000 was gifted to the local community.

After the opening ceremony, the front office was split into various Marlins Ayudan teams. Dressed in blue shirts, they were dispersed to 15 Miami-Dade County Public Schools.

Each team visited a school with coaches from 2015 Marlins Charity Partner Up2Us Sports. Together, they conducted a Play Ball event with 25 pre-selected students.

Marlins employees also visited historically and culturally significant sites in Miami-Dade County.

The objective of the day was to "spread holiday cheer" and connect the organization to the rich history and diversity of South Florida.

"Literally, everybody is here, everyone participates, because we all have perspective," Samson said. "We're pretty lucky to work for a Major League Baseball team. As part of corporate social responsibility, it's necessary to give back and we love it."

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.