PHOENIX – These are stressful times for those in sports, those who follow sports and those who make their livelihood through the games others play.
With cancelations and postponements of countless high-profile events, the novel coronavirus outbreak has left a stain of uncertainty on the sporting world.
Now some of Major League Baseball’s most valued workers can rest a little easier. MLB announced Tuesday that each of baseball’s 30 clubs will donate $1 million apiece to assist ballpark employees affected by the ongoing delay.
“I am proud that our clubs came together so quickly and uniformly to support these individuals who provide so much to the game we love,” said Commissioner Rob Manfred in a statement released by MLB.
From concession workers to 50-50 raffle attendants and everyone in between, game day employees make attending a ballgame special for fans. The Arizona Diamondbacks, with the 29 other clubs, are doing their part to give back.
“There are personal relationships that exist between our game day staff and all of us who work at the D-backs, and it is important that they know we are here for them,” Diamondbacks President and CEO Derrick Hall said. “When baseball returns, so will these faces that our fans have come to know and love, as these are the people who are responsible for the incredible fan experience at Chase Field.”
Despite baseball’s competitive nature, executives across the league came together to provide funds for workers. It is one of many things Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo treasures about a “child’s game.”
“It speaks volumes that, even though we’re all adversaries and we all compete between the white lines, when something like this pops up, we rally around one another,” Lovullo said. “And it’s a great sport, and a way for us to come together and support everyone who’s affected by this.
“It’s not just the baseball players. it’s a lot of people that make the day work, day-by-day that have been affected by this. It’s a pretty loud statement that Major League Baseball made by showing that type of support.”
They don’t often get any spotlight from the public. There aren’t posters of them hanging from the rafters at Chase Field. And they’ll never score the winning run or come in for the save.
But this doesn’t make the game day employees any less important to the Diamondbacks organization and management.
“Our game day staff is part of our family and we want to make sure that we take care of them and support them during these challenging economic times,” said Ken Kendrick, managing general partner of the Diamondbacks. “When times are tough, that is when organizations like ours need to step up and I’m proud of all 30 teams who are motivated by a desire to help others in our baseball community.”