Sports stars are often laughed at for their huge contracts, flash cars, big houses and even bigger egos. Over the past few decades many that reach the pinnacle of world sport become detached from reality and fans in the betting world are often left frustrated and amazed with the behaviour of their idols.
Yet two recent initiatives this week has brought the idea of what sport is all about back to the fans, after the baseball community gathered round to offer their support to the east coast’s hurricane victims over the Thanksgiving period.
The Minor Leagues have combined and given their support to three badly-hit communities that have a great baseball presence: Staten Island, Jersey Shore and Coney Island. This initiative, called ‘Helping Hand’, will see thousands of sufferers from Storm Sandy receive direct support to help rebuild their lives.
Further down the coast, Florida Marlins’ Tom Koehler has also started up his own initiative aimed at providing a financial boost for victims of the storm. The pitcher only made his Major League debut with the Marlins back in September yet has already made headways in the professional sporting world – setting an example that many stars should follow.
For, instead of simply donating a cash lump to the cause, Koehler is to use the relief effort to help youngsters improve their baseball skills, with a ‘Pitch for Relief’ initiative that will see him donate funds generated from a baseball camp for 9-18 year olds on 1 December.
This proactive approach to the storm relief effort should be widely applauded in the sporting world that is often so cynical of our stars. Granted, sports stars can be stupid, preening idiots at times and their ridiculous actions both on and off the courts, fields and plates can be infuriating.
Yet we should not hide the fact many stars genuinely want to help and this week baseball has proven itself to America.