Players, managers, coaches pledge $2.8 million to B.A.T.

Detroit Tigers, Arizona Diamondbacks named recipients of 2016 Bobby Murcer Award

Nearly 1,600 players, coaches and managers from all 30 MLB Clubs have collectively pledged a record donation of approximately $2.8 million to the Baseball Assistance Team (B.A.T.) during the organization's 14th annual Spring Training Fundraising Tour to raise money for members of the Baseball Family in need of assistance. The donations, an approximate six percent increase from last year, are being made through the MLB Payroll Deduction Program, allowing players to provide funding for B.A.T. throughout the course of the season. Collective donations from players in the Cactus League ($1.3 million), along with a new record set by the Grapefruit League ($1.5 million) brought this year's Spring Training fundraising total to nearly $23 million pledged over fourteen years.

During the tour, representatives from B.A.T., including former All-Stars Randy Winn, who is the President of the B.A.T. Board, B.A.T. Board members Sal Bando & Buck Martinez and B.A.T. Consultant, "Sudden" Sam McDowell, visited various clubhouses to inform clubs about the mission of B.A.T. and the support the organization provides. Baltimore Orioles All-Star center fielder Adam Jones, who also serves on the B.A.T. Board, spoke to his team on behalf of the organization. They were joined by several B.A.T. grant recipients who shared stories of the positive effects the charitable organization has had on their lives and the lives of their family members.

"Everyone at the Baseball Assistance Team is very appreciative of the generosity demonstrated by all the clubs, players, coaches and managers," said Winn. "The opportunity that clubs give us every Spring Training to spread the word about how we help is invaluable, and year after year, the men in those clubhouses step up to make what we do possible. We continue to be grateful to the entire industry, especially Major League Baseball, the Clubs and the MLB Players Association, for their unwavering support."

B.A.T. is also announcing the Arizona Diamondbacks and Detroit Tigers as the recipients of the 2016 Bobby Murcer Award, which is named after the former B.A.T. Chairman who introduced the Spring Training Fundraising Tour. The Award is given to the team in both the American League (Tigers) and National League (Diamondbacks) whose players commit the most amount of money to B.A.T. This is the second consecutive nod for the Tigers organization, and the second win for the Diamondbacks (also in 2012). The Diamondbacks succeed 2015 Bobby Murcer Award National League recipient, the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Baseball Assistance Team, now in its 31st year, is a unique organization within the sports industry that is dedicated to confidentially assisting members of the Baseball Family who are in need with nowhere else to turn. Through charitable contributions from corporations, foundations and individuals, B.A.T. strives to provide a means of support to people with financial, psychological or physical burdens. B.A.T.'s assistance takes a variety of forms including financial grants, healthcare programs and rehabilitative counseling.

B.A.T., a 501 (c) 3 charitable organization, has awarded more than $32 million in grants to date, benefiting more than 3,400 members of the Baseball Family, including former Major League players, managers, coaches, scouts, umpires, athletic trainers, Major & Minor League front office personnel as well as Minor League players, Negro League players, players from the Women's Professional Baseball League and widows, spouses and children, ages 23 and under. All aid provided by B.A.T. is strictly confidential, allowing those in need to receive help discreetly. For more information about the Baseball Assistance Team or to make a donation, please visit: BaseballAssistanceTeam.com,Facebook.com/BaseballAssistanceTeam or Twitter.com/BATcharity.