Members of the Major League Baseball community continue to come together to provide relief for those suffering as a result of the devastating flooding in the Houston area caused by Hurricane Harvey, and MLB's brand-new crowdfunding partnership with YouCaring has emerged as a key strength in activating swift help from clubs, players and fans across the sport.
MLB and the MLB Players Association jointly made a $1 million donation to various relief efforts throughout Texas, including the American Red Cross. For those interested in contributing, the American Red Cross is accepting donations online at redcross.org/donate/hurricane-harvey and by phone at 1-800-RED-CROSS. Donations of $10 can also be made by texting HARVEY to 90999.
Astros owner and chairman Jim Crane, the Astros' ownership group and the Astros Foundation also pledged $4 million to aiding the victims of Hurricane Harvey.
"We are committed to doing our part to provide aid and assistance to the thousands of Houston-area residents that are desperately in need right now," Crane said in a statement. "We encourage others in our region and beyond to help out in any way that they can."
MLB's new crowdfunding partnership with YouCaring is barely a month old, and already it has been a major factor in enabling clubs and their fan bases to mobilize resources and help major causes such as this. In addition to that $4 million donation, the Astros pointed people to youcaring.com/AstrosHarvey to donate additional funds, and by Thursday afternoon, the total raised was more than $55,000 -- toward a $1 million goal.
"Crowdfunding provides the unique ability for people to come together in support of individuals, groups and causes they care about," said Melanie LeGrande, MLB's vice president of social responsibility. "Partnering with YouCaring gives us a great opportunity to engage our fans, clubs and players in a new way that gives back to our communities."
Nationals players Anthony Rendon and Matt Albers are from Texas, and they jointly organized a YouCaring page to raises funds for hurricane victims. It was approaching the $90,000 goal as of Thursday afternoon, from 663 donors. Money raised will go directly to the Houston Food Bank and other area shelters that are in need.
The devastating storm has hit home for Indians outfielder Jay Bruce, a native of Beaumont, Texas. Through Sept. 10, all donations made by Tribe fans to Cleveland Indians Charities will go to Bruce's efforts to aid those in need. Additionally, he and wife Hannah will match up to $100,000 in donations made to CIC through Sept. 10. More details are at indians.com/bruce.
The Astros, whose home series against the Rangers this week was moved to Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., are contributing to the relief efforts by committing the proceeds of their Share2Care 50/50 raffle for the remainder of the season to the American Red Cross. Houston's opponent this week, the Rangers, will do the same with proceeds from their Texas 2 Split 50/50 raffle for an upcoming series against the Angels beginning Friday. The Rangers also have announced a $1 million donation to help Hurricane Harvey victims.
From now through Wednesday, The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches, the Astros' Spring Training home in West Palm Beach, Fla., will be accepting donations for hurricane victims, and Crane Worldwide will provide transportation of the collected items to Houston. Preferred items are nonperishable food, bottled water, blankets, baby food and formula, diapers, toilet paper, animal crates and dried pet food.
The D-backs also teamed up with Fox Sports Arizona to donate the funds raised from their 50/50 Raffle in this week's series against the Dodgers to relief efforts. Fans in Arizona who can't make it to the game can still contribute by purchasing a raffle ticket online at dbacks.com/5050raffle. The Cubs and Pirates are doing the same, just two more of many such examples.
St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Matt Carpenter, who was born in Galveston, Texas, and spent much of his childhood in the Houston area, pledged to donate $10,000 to relief efforts for every home run he hits for the remainder of the season.
Other examples among clubs are widespread, and many can be found by going to the club website and following the team's official social media accounts.
Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com and a baseball writer since 1990. Follow him @Marathoner and read and join other baseball fans on his MLB.com/blogs hub. Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.