Minor-league team raising money to obtain Ryan Howard

Tuesday March 24th, 2015

The Atlantic League's York (Pa.) Revolution definitely has champagne dreams. But it also has a beer budget.

That’s where you come in.

The independent minor league baseball franchise is asking for donations of $10 from fans to help the team cover a nearly $10 million budget deficit for it to acquire Ryan Howard from the Philadelphia Phillies.

According to the team’s website, the Revolution became interested in the 2006 National League MVP once the Phillies said earlier this month they would be willing to pay $50 million of the remaining $60 million owed to Howard over the next two seasons for Howard to leave.

Under the stipulation, any team willing to trade for Howard's services would need to come up with the remaining $10 million to pay the 35-year-old slugger.

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Since the maximum monthly salary in the Atlantic League is $3,000, York estimated—tongue-in-cheek—that it was about $9,997,000 short of being able to swing a deal for Howard. But the franchise is taking a 21st century approach to reducing the funding gap—crowd-sourcing.

“If there are roughly 400,000 people living in York County, we only need $25 from each of them to have the funds necessary to put Ryan Howard in a Revolution uniform,” York general manager John Gibson said.

“Some dads might have to dock a kid’s allowance for a couple of weeks, big deal.” 

In hopes that the idea would catch on regionally, the team lowered the donation threshold to $10. Those who donate to the Howard Fund will receive two complimentary ticket vouchers to the Revolution's opening-night game against the Long Island Ducks April 24.

Should the team fall short of its $10 million goal, it will donate 83% of the funds raised to Penn-Mar Human Services, an area non-profit organization that provides support to people with disabilities. 

At the very least, the Revolution might get a full house for opening night, even if it can’t acquire Howard.

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