Most baseball players don't grow up wealthy. But when they find prosperity as multimillionaires in the big leagues, that changes — and they also get a platform to use their lucrative contracts and celebrity status to help others.
Josh Beckett is among the members of the Red Sox who donate time to their local communities. And while he may be dealing with controversy as his pitching production suffers this season, Beckett is still keeping up with his work off the field.
This week, Beckett hosted the sixth annual Beckett Bowl, an event that raises money to benefit community programs that aim to improve the health and lifestyle of children who are ill or poor.
Over the years, Beckett has invited former teammates Jason Varitek and Tim Wakefield to join the cause.
"It's something very near and dear to me," Beckett said of the initiative. "My friend, his son was born with a brain tumor. His outlook on life was he was able to spend 14 more years with his own son. That outlook, having my own daughter, is more dear to me — I feel blessed to have a healthy kid."
Adrian Gonzalez is another member of the Red Sox who has a unique initiative to help the community. In San Diego, Gonzalez offered $2,500 scholarships to underprivileged young people in the area. Since signing a seven-year, $154 million deal with the Red Sox in 2011, Gonzalez has brought the initiative to Boston.
About two weeks ago, the Red Sox first baseman tweeted a picture of himself, his wife and the recipients of the scholarship.
Even rookie third baseman Will Middlebrooks is quickly adapting a philanthropic state of mind. On Aug. 1, the 23-year-old visited Children's Hospital, chatted with children and offered encouragement to those in need.
"Had a blast with everyone at the children's hospital! You guys are the real hero's [sic]," Middlebrooks tweeted.
Clearly, giving back is one of the team's high priorities.
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) is offering 100 healthy tips to celebrate Fenway Park’s centennial. Visit 100pitches.org to learn more.