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UPDATE: MLB kicks in $1 million for Haitian relief

Jan 14, 2010, 2:20 PM EST

2:20 P.M.:  Bud Selig has just announced that Major League Baseball has kicked in $1 million via UNICEF.

11:30 A.M.: Great move by the Yankees:

The New York Yankees announced today that they were donating $500,000
in support of rescue and relief efforts following the tragic earthquake
in Haiti.
The catastrophic event has devastated an entire nation and will have
far-reaching effects in the worldwide Haitian community. The Yankees
hope their donation will inspire people throughout the United States to
do everything they can to aid the people of Haiti in their time of need.

The scope of this disaster makes it almost impossible to get one’s brain around it.  Some have suggested that Haiti could cease to be a viable nation as a result of the quake.  Anything anyone can do, however small, is much needed and much appreciated.

  1. BigJeff48 - Jan 14, 2010 at 11:49 AM

    No other organization in sports is a classy as the Yankees are. That’s why they are winners, on and off the field.

  2. GBSimons - Jan 14, 2010 at 11:50 AM

    Thanks for bringing this to everyone’s attention, Craig. I know Moses Green has mentioned it in at least a couple comments, but a nice, big headline is a good attention grabber.

  3. Ryan - Jan 14, 2010 at 11:54 AM

    In other words Haitians, you are worth to the Yankees what about 4 innings of CC Sabathia is worth.

  4. YankeesfanLen - Jan 14, 2010 at 11:59 AM

    Thanks for the surly remark.
    In case you don’t want to notice, the Yankees do well by doing good and extending beyond the local causes they support in many ways.
    The Royals won’t even donate 4 innings of Farnsy’s worth ($5.64)

  5. Moses Green - Jan 14, 2010 at 12:06 PM

    I know this is a sports blog, but thanks big CC.

  6. TF in Tampa - Jan 14, 2010 at 12:07 PM

    Reguardless who our favorite team is, we all need to rally around the effort to help out Haiti with prayers and whatever $$$ we can donate through various charities.
    Remember, you don’t know what you have till its gone. I love living in the good ol USA.
    Come on everyone, we’re all on the same team, Human Being Team.
    Great start NY Yankees!!!

  7. cliff - Jan 14, 2010 at 12:08 PM

    What about MlB using its “resources” in the Dominican next door to stage people and supplies in?
    The Dominican has a tremendous interest in this situation as they can’t survive a wave of people crossing in, either.
    Only comparable situation of recent times I remember is the hurricanes / cyclones to hit Bangladesh. It is like the 2006 tsunami, but many of those governments still had infrastructure in place after the tsunami.

  8. Dan - Jan 14, 2010 at 12:08 PM

    Pretty sure they didn’t have to send anything..

  9. Rays fan - Jan 14, 2010 at 12:23 PM

    As you can tell by my handle, I’m not a Yankees fan, but their gesture is both generous and classy & shows they at least understand there are far more imprtant issues in the world than WS rings, no matter how many they earn. On the other hand, your snarky little remark shows that you sadly cannot say the same about yourself. I’ll go out on a limb here and guess that you also plan to donate zilch.

  10. Ryan - Jan 14, 2010 at 12:36 PM

    I’ll save you the trouble, you’re absolutely right. I work hard for my money and I need it. Neither the players nor the upper echelon Yankees employees will feel one cent of that donation in their pocketbooks, its the company that is paying out. It’s not a classy move, it’s a PR stunt dressed up like a classy move. The only good thing is the extra 500k the Haitians will be getting, but we are instead focusing on the Yankees ‘giving.’ I don’t care if you disagree with me and if you don’t want snark, you’re on the wrong website.

  11. Rays fan - Jan 14, 2010 at 12:48 PM

    Be snarky all you want, but it’d be a lot more effective if I were wrong & you were able to come back with a donation of even $1 to the Red Cross.

  12. yanks fan - Jan 14, 2010 at 1:03 PM

    Ok, I have been waiting and reading since this story broke. I am a Yankees fan but I have to say that $500K is pathetic, disappointing. Embarrassing. I’m glad they sent Something, this tragedy is just unbelievable. But that figure is nothing short of disgraceful. Every player on that team should have given a mil. That would have been worthy of a headline. Come on, A- Rod’s salary last year was just over $30 mil!! Like I said, disappointing.

  13. aceshigh - Jan 14, 2010 at 1:07 PM

    Of course it’s a P.R. stunt masquerading as a “classy gesture”…other sports teams and individual players will follow suit, I’m sure, and bask in the adulation of being such wonderful, selfless people…nevermind that $500K is literally less than pocket change for the average sports team, let alone the Yankees.
    Don’t forget it’s also a nice tax writeoff.
    So yes, I am both extremely cynical and a proud Yankee-hater…
    …HOWEVER, it doesn’t particularly matter what the motive is for the donation…the fact that it will help those poor people in Haiti who have suffered such a tragedy is really all that matters…so, regrettably, I have to give kudos to the Steinbrenner family.

  14. Stone - Jan 14, 2010 at 1:09 PM

    Cease to be a viable country? When was Haiti considered a viable country to begin with??

  15. aceshigh - Jan 14, 2010 at 1:10 PM

    Well, I agree with you there.
    I have more respect for the average working-class individual or family that sends $20 or $50…in this horrific economy, THAT is truly a selfess act.
    But again, the Yankees are under no obligation to donate ANYTHING, so even though $500K may be window-dressing, it is still something that will have a positive benefit.

  16. GBSimons - Jan 14, 2010 at 1:25 PM

    $500k may be insignificant to the Yankees, but, as aceshigh said, it will be a significant help the countless Haitians who are suffering.

  17. Old Gator - Jan 14, 2010 at 1:25 PM

    Craig, Haiti ceased to be a viable nation when the French shipped Toussaint off to die in a drafty prison in the hills and Dessalines, followed by Petion and Christophe, took over. The country hasn’t had a sane or stable moment since before the Boukman uprising and the country has remained independent – except for one disastrous foray by our very own Marines in 1920 or so – largely because it has always been such a mess that no colonial power ever wanted it. The appalling death toll, what with building codes virtually nonexistent and enforcement of any that did exist undermined entirely by bribes, is a direct result of this perpetual state of political inviability.
    But that isn’t the point. There are hundreds of thousands of human beings who need to be fed, clothed and housed. A half million dollars is great but it’s barely a hiccup. The estimates I’m hearing now are between 75-50,000 dead, and virtually the entire infrastructure of the southern half of the country in ruins. Given the already shoddy state of medical and sanitary services there, and the appalling crowding in Port au Prince, it’s probably just a matter of time – and not much of it – before typhoid and much worse epidemics break out.
    Just be careful of ad hoc medical and provender committees who will shortly be soliciting your funds. Many will be outright scams. Keep your heartstrings firmly under control when solicited and donate generously to the United Way, the Red Cross and other legitimate organizations.

  18. Moses Green - Jan 14, 2010 at 1:35 PM

    Pure class, Stone. Way to kick ‘em when they’re down.

  19. aceshigh - Jan 14, 2010 at 1:38 PM

    Great post.

  20. yanks fan - Jan 14, 2010 at 1:39 PM

    You are absolutely right, they are under no obligation. I guess that figure just rubbed me the wrong way given the salaries involved here. Maybe because I donated what I could and work hard for every dollar? BUT that’s not the issue here is it? This country has been devastated and that is where the focus needs to remain.

  21. YankeesfanLen - Jan 14, 2010 at 1:43 PM

    Thank you, Old Gator.
    Calamities such as this are collabrative efforts from individuals, religious groups, non-profit aid agencies, governments, and yes, corporate entities. It is not a can you top this, it is what can be done by the community of caring entities.

  22. Moses Green - Jan 14, 2010 at 1:51 PM

    If you click on the Moses Green up there to the left you will link to a great website that ranks philanthropic organizations based on their worthiness and what percentage of your donation will actually go to the people. Give safely and intelligently if you can.

  23. ecp - Jan 14, 2010 at 2:00 PM

    Your surly remark was also uncalled for, Len, and beneath you.

  24. Old Gator - Jan 14, 2010 at 3:26 PM

    Mo – you da man. Thanks for proffering that informative and orderly list. You just saved me hours of slogging through cyberspace looking for those very organization. Much appreciated.
    Incidentally, if this horrible situation has piqued anyone’s interests, the classic study of the Haitian revolution and bio of the great Toussaint Louverture is C. L. R. James’ The Black Jacobins. There are quite a few more recent and, technically, more detailed studies but James remains the most elegant and readable by far. A caveat: James also wrote a play about Toussaint with the same title, so make sure you’re getting the correct volume.
    On the fictional side, the most remarkable novels about Haiti that I am aware of, and I’m aware of most of them, are the three novels of Madison Smartt Bell’s trilogy about the revolution and its disastrous aftermath. In sequence, they are: All Souls’ Rising, Master of the Crossroads and The Stone that the Builder Refused. Bell is a terrific writer. These novels really bring the country and its tragic origins to life in an unforgettable way. My guess is that reading them will make you even more cognizant of the pressure history exerts upon present circumstances. What might have been. I think it’ll open your hearts to the immediate nightmare even moreso than these depressing news reports. And you won’t be able to put them down.

  25. Simon DelMonte - Jan 14, 2010 at 4:00 PM

    Kudos to MLB not just for the donation, but for a well-done announcement on their website which includes a link for donating to UNICEF and a summary of the situation in Haiti, working on the assumption that not everyone gets how terrible it is there.
    Kudos as well to Miguel Tejada, the first Dominican player to start his own efforts to do something. I expect, as we have seen many times before, that this is just the beginning of the efforts by ballplayers and teams in all sports.

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