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MLB Teams to Donate $30 Million to Help Pay Ballpark Workers

MLB teams are stepping up to assist ballpark employees that are unable to work during the season's delay due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

All 30 teams pledged to donate $1 million each, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement to ESPN.

"Motivated by desire to help some of the most valuable members of the baseball community, each club has committed $1 million," Manfred said

"The individual clubs will be announcing more details surrounding this support effort in their local communities. The timing of these announcements will vary because of the need to coordinate with state and local laws as well as collective-bargaining obligations in an effort to maximize the benefits realized by each group of employees. I am proud that our clubs came together so quickly and uniformly to support these individuals who provide so much to the game we love."

The league announced last Thursday that all remaining spring training games were canceled and the start of the regular season would be delayed at least two weeks due to the coronavirus outbreak. This week, MLB said it is in talks to suspend play further after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that gatherings of more than 50 people be postponed or canceled for eight weeks. 

In the face of the pandemic, teams and players around the U.S. have pledged money to help compensate the non-salaried employees that will not be able to earn a paycheck during the delays. Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was the first to say he would help, and the Cavaliers' Kevin Love soon followed with a $100,000 donation.

MLB teams and players have joined the NBA in the initiative. Here's a look at how they're helping to compensate stadium employees: 

  • Astros: Houston outfielder George Springer is donating $100,000 to employees at Minute Maid Park who have been impacted by game cancelations, according to Fox 26's Mark Berman. Third baseman Alex Bregman is also donating 1,000 quarantine food kits to children in Houston. Each kit provides 28 free lunches per student. 
  • Blue Jays: Players, coaches and management across all Toronto teams are pitching in to form a fund for workers of local venues. 
  • Reds: Cincinnati pitcher Trevor Bauer started a fundraiser to assist game day staff with a goal of $1 million. He also organized a "sandlot"-style pickup game in Arizona with MLB and MiLB players to provide an escape for fans. 
  • Tigers: Ilitch Holdings announced on Friday that Detroit is setting up a $1 million fund to cover a month's wages for part-time and event staff, including those impacted by the canceled spring training games. 
  • MLB Teams: All 30 teams will donate $1 million each to support ballpark employees that are not able to work during the suspended season.