MLB starts initiative to help Veterans

Charting Hughes's truncated season
Imagine if Jeter were having a good season

While this isn’t Yankee-centric, I find this to be a nice story about some of the good things MLB, as one of the country’s most popular sports, can accomplish. This morning, Major League Baseball announced a new fundraising initiative supporting Veterans returning from service.

MLB along with its Website arm and the McCormick Foundation are hoping to raise $100 million for services that support Veterans and 100,000 jobs for Veterans as well. To mark the start of this effort and honor our veterans, teams will wear new Stars & Stripes hats, shown above, over the July 4th weekend and on September 11. Money from the sales of those caps (available online) go toward the initiative termed Welcome Back Veterans.

While Paul Lukas at the Uni Watch blog finds them to be “ridiculous,” I think that assessment misses the mark a bit. No matter what your views on America’s overseas involvements are, many returning veterans, scarred emotionally and physically by the wars the U.S. is fighting, have not received the care they need and deserve. The hats — a token gesture — and the much-needed fiscal support that comes from the fundraising aren’t about the politics behind the war; they are about aiding people who desperately need help. While Major League Baseball has long been facing an uphill battle over its perceived response to drug testing and various other issues surrounding the game, those organizing this effort should be applauded.

Charting Hughes's truncated season
Imagine if Jeter were having a good season
  • Ivan

    Is there a baseball hat that looks better than the Yankees no matter what design.

  • Jake

    I think this is a great initiative, and I will definitely be supporting it. I actually think the Yankee hat looks nice.

  • Jake

    Do we know if these hats become tax-deductible?

  • younguns

    You can count Carlos Delgado of the Mets out of this one as well. He’s already a no-show whenever “God Bless America” is played. You can google Carlos for more details about his beef since I hate getting political in a non-political blog.

  • usty

    I’m not sure if quoting the “ridiculous” part of Uni-Watch’s argument out of context is really necessary. After reading his article, he does make a coherent point, not that I agree with it, but nevertheless he did explain pretty well.

    • usty

      Just to clarify my own comments, when I read that quote, I was immediately struck with a, “how could anyone associate the word ridiculous with this plan?” Then once I actually read what he said, it made more sense. I just wonder how many people will see the quote and then not read the article.

  • Mike P

    On the whole I think this is a decent idea. I mostly disagree with overt patriotic displays at ball games, but this is clearly different. One thing makes me a bit uncomfortsble though. What does September 11th have to do with veterans? That just smacks of politics to me.

    • Alan

      Well, for one, it was the event that drove the United States into war with Afghanistan and started the whole “War on Terror.” But, I digress, as I don’t think this is the forum for us to be having political discussions.

      As an aside, I think the hats are a great gesture and I’ll be picking one up for myself.

  • Marketing Ploy

    MLB refused to answer a question at their press conference as to how much of the proceeds from each $34.95 hat sold WILL go to the U.S. Veterans. MLB shut down the press conference right after that question.