The Baseball Assistance Team (B.A.T.) has named the Nationals one of two recipients of the 2019 Bobby Murcer Award, which recognizes the team in each league whose players, managers and coaches pledge to contribute the most amount of money to B.A.T during the organization’s annual spring training fundraising tour. The Blue Jays won for the American League.
The award is named after the former B.A.T. Chairman who launched the fundraising tour to support the organization in its mission to assist members of the baseball family in need of medical, financial or psychological help. The Nationals are being recognized for the second consecutive year on behalf of the National League.
Nearly 1,600 players, coaches and managers from all 30 major league have collectively pledged a record donation of $3.4 million to B.A.T. during the organization’s 17th annual spring training fundraising tour. Collective donations from teams in the Cactus League and the Grapefruit League brought the total to more than $33 million pledged over 16 years.
“As players, we know how important B.A.T. is to everyone involved in this game,” said Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman. “The baseball community is lucky to have a group that will lend assistance and do what they can for those in need. I’m proud of the Washington Nationals organization, my teammates, coaches and staff who continue to donate on a yearly basis. We are honored to accept this award for the second straight year and we pledge to contribute year in and year out.”
“We are extremely grateful to Major League players, managers and coaches for their continued dedication to the Baseball Assistance Team,” said Randy Winn, B.A.T. president and 13-year major league outfielder. “It is because of their generosity that we are able to confidentially provide support with medical, financial or psychological burdens to members of our baseball family. In particular, we congratulate the Blue Jays and Nationals organizations for being recognized as our Bobby Murcer Award recipients this year. We also cannot thank our B.A.T. recipients enough for their willingness to relive their stories that have helped personalize the work our organization is able to provide.”
The Baseball Assistance Team is dedicated to confidentially assisting members of the baseball family who are in need through charitable contributions in a variety of forms, including financial grants, healthcare resources and rehabilitative counseling.
Additionally, funding for B.A.T. is directed towards the newly-launched B.A.T. Scholarship Program, which awards former major and minor league players in financial need with assistance as they pursue collegiate, vocational or other advanced degrees following their playing career. The program, which will allocate $500,000 for scholarships during the 2019-2020 academic calendar, is designed to promote financial self-sufficiency by supporting former players’ career growth goals.
In 2018, B.A.T., a 501 (c) (3) charitable organization, assisted a record 470 applicants with over $4.5 million in grants. To date, the organization has awarded more than $42 million in grants, benefiting more than 4,300 members of the baseball family, including current and former, on-field major and minor league personnel (players, managers, coaches) as well as scouts, umpires, athletic trainers, major and minor league front office personnel, Negro League players and players from the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. B.A.T.’s coverage also extends to widows, widowers and children, 23 and under, of the above groups. All aid provided by B.A.T. is strictly confidential, allowing those in need to receive help discreetly.