Who says that millionaire athletes don’t care about anything but themselves? All they are is a bunch of spoiled brats worried more about their million dollar salaries than the fans they play for, right? You need look no further than Barry Zito of the Oakland Athletics for the exception to the rule.
Zito wanted to show his support for the troops in Iraq. Pitching is what he does best. This year he founded “Strikeouts for Troops”. For every strikeout he tallies this year, $100 goes to the foundation. The money is then used to aid the war wounded at Walter Reed Hospital in Bethesda, MD. The money goes towards their recovery as well as travel expenses and housing for their families.
Since the foundation’s inception, other baseball players have joined in. Those who aren’t pitchers are donating money for Hits, RBIs, and Home Runs. These players are participating: Curt Schilling, C.C. Sabathia, Matt Miller, Tim Hudson, Horacio Ramirez, Chad Cordero, Rich Harden, Kirk Sarloos, Huston Street, Joe Blanton, Justin Duchscherer, Jason Kendall, Nick Swisher, Mark Kotsay, Eric Chavez, Mark Ellis, and Eric Byrnes. Hopes are as more players hear about the cause they will add they stats to the tally.
The foundation has already helped many who were wounded in Iraq. Just read the letters written by those who have received assistance: http://www.strikeoutsfortroops.org/testimonials.htm
Zito would like to see at least one player from each team on the list by season’s end. Who knows how much money will be raised by this effort? It’s great to see our athletes pitching in and they should be commended for their effort.
[Photo courtesy of : Tracy Scott-Murray, www.sxc.hu]