Texas Rangers pitcher Martín Pérez paid tribute to the victims of the elementary school school shooting Uvalde, Texas, during his start against the Oakland Athletics on Thursday night.
Pérez, who pitched seven innings and gave up one run in the Rangers’ 4-1 win over the A’s, wrote "4 Uvalde" on his cap.
The Venezuelan-born left-hander, who is in his second stint with the Rangers, told MLB.com after the game that the tragedy weighed heavily on him in the days afterward and it led to his tribute.
He dedicated the start to the victims of the shooting.
“It's hard to believe what happened there,” Pérez said. “I have kids, too. It's really bad, what happened to those kids. We feel that because we all have family. ... Every time I went out there, I said this is for the city. They have to stop this. It cannot continue to happen.”
It was the latest in an outpouring from the sports world after the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School which left 21 dead, including 19 children, and injured 17 more.
On Thursday the social media accounts for both the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays went dark from game coverage. Instead, both accounts coordinated with one another to share information on gun violence.
The Rays also announced they would donate $50,000 for Everytown for Gun Safety.
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Before Game 5 of Thursday’s game of the Western Conference finals between the Dallas Mavericks and the Golden State Warriors — taking place across the bay in San Francisco — there was a moment of silence for the victims of the shooting. The Warriors also urged spectators to vote and to consider ways to affect change when it comes to gun violence.
And, Warriors coach Steve Kerr — who lost his father to gun violence in Beirut as a teenager — delivered one of the most impassioned speeches for change before Game 4 on Tuesday night.
Rangers manager Chris Woodward also addressed the shooting on Wednesday in an interview with Sirius/XM Radio while the Rangers were in Anaheim, Calif., to face the Angels.
“We have to do better,” Rangers manager Chris Woodward said. We have to do better for our kids, for the children of this country. … Anger, hate is rampant in our country. And we need to do better. And I think that starts with leadership, but it also falls on all of us as Americans.”
The Rangers play the second game of their four-game series with the Athletics on Friday night.
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard