Major League Baseball (MLB) is the most historic professional sports league in the United States and consists of 30 member clubs in the U.S. and Canada, representing the highest level of professional baseball. It is the best-attended sport in North America, and since 2004, MLB has enjoyed its best-attended seasons in the history of the game, with more than 73 million fans attending games each year during the regular season. Led by Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr., MLB continues to remain committed to making an impact in the communities of the U.S., Canada and throughout the world, perpetuating the sport’s larger role in society and permeating every facet of baseball’s business, marketing and community relations endeavors. With the continued success of MLB Advanced Media and MLB Network, MLB continues to find innovative ways for its fans to enjoy America’s National Pastime and a truly global game.
What causes do you care about?
Major League Baseball is committed to supporting causes that impact the communities where we live, work and play. Namely, our focus is on health and wellness, education, and youth. MLB provides significant financial and in-kind support to three main charitable partners – Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Stand Up To Cancer and the Jackie Robinson Foundation. Equally important is our focus on supporting youth participation and growing our game through programs such as our PLAY BALL initiative, Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI), MLB Youth Academies and various on-field development-focused events (e.g., Breakthrough Series and Elite Development Invitational). MLB.com/community is an excellent resource to find out about all of MLB’s charitable initiatives.
What motivated you to support the Jackie Robinson Foundation and our Scholars?
Major League Baseball has an obvious connection with how Jackie Robinson not only inspired change throughout our sport, but society as well. MLB and its Clubs have long been proud to support the Jackie Robinson Foundation, recognizing the foundation’s important role in preserving Jackie’s legacy by advancing education. The fact that the foundation has a nearly 100 percent graduation rate reflects the true commitment to equal opportunity by closing the achievement gap for students of diverse backgrounds. We are motivated to continue our support because the Jackie Robinson Foundation is mobilizing and supporting the next generation of leaders in our game, our industry and society as a whole.
Who has benefited as a result of your charitable donations and support?
Major League Baseball has supported an extensive list of organizations benefitting youth, education, health, environmental programs and other causes. Specifically, in addition to the three significant charitable partners mentioned above, Susan G. Komen, Prostate Cancer Foundation, Starlight Children’s Foundation, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation have longstanding relationships with MLB. Additional organizations that have benefited from our support include the National Network to End Domestic Violence, The ALS Association and It’s On Us (through Civic Nation), a national movement to change the culture around sexual assault. We are also pleased to have recently launched the Shred Hate initiative and our support of No Bully, a nonprofit with an evidence-based prevention program which raises awareness about the bullying epidemic and reduces the actual incidence of bullying in schools. Major League Baseball Charities has donated millions to make a lasting difference in communities across the country and around the world.
How can JRF Scholars learn more about and get involved with MLB?
Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholars can learn more about Major League Baseball by going to MLB.com and educating themselves about all the different entities and opportunities available in our game.
Volunteering and/or networking at events hosted by MLB or your local Club is a great way to get involved. This is a relationship-driven business, so it’s important that Scholars are out meeting people, and establishing and maintaining those relationships. Employers look at how individuals can come in and really add value to their organization. Additionally, the Office of the Commissioner and MLB Advanced Media both offer a formal paid summer internship program beginning in May and concluding by early- to mid-August. Clubs often times offer seasonal positions that can run from March until October.
Photos courtesy of Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos