B.A.T. presents the 2016 Bobby Murcer Award to the Arizona Diamondbacks & Detroit Tigers

Since 1986, B.A.T. has awarded more than 3,400 grants and more than 32 million dollars to help restore health, pride and dignity to members of the Baseball Family in need.

The Arizona Diamondbacks and Detroit Tigers are the recipients of the 2016 Bobby Murcer Award.  Named after the former B.A.T. Chairman who introduced the Spring Training Fundraising Tour, the award is given to the team in both the American League (Tigers) and National League (Diamondbacks) whose players commit the most amount of money to B.A.T.  Bobby was a legend on and off the field.  His compassion for others and strong will to do the right thing was exemplified as a member of the B.A.T. Board of Directors. His role in life was that of service and that is why he is the name sake of the Bobby Murcer award.

On August 5th, 2016, B.A.T. Director, Erik Nilsen and Board of Director, Mark Letendre presented the Arizona Diamondbacks of the National League with the 2016 Bobby Murcer Award.  Manager, Chip Hale accepted the award on behalf of the Diamondbacks organization for their contributions.

B.A.T. Director, Erik Nilsen, Manager Chip Hale & B.A.T. Board of Director, Mark Letendre (Photo by Sarah Sachs/Arizona Diamondbacks)

B.A.T. Director Erik Nilsen, Manager Chip Hale & B.A.T. Board of Director Mark Letendre (Photo by Sarah Sachs/Arizona Diamondbacks)

PHOENIX, AZ - August 5: The D-backs take on the Brewers. (Photo by Rachael Keating/Arizona Diamondbacks)

B.A.T. Director Erik Nilsen & B.A.T. Board of Director Mark Letendre (Photo by Rachael Keating/Arizona Diamondbacks)

Click here to view the full presentation of the 2016 Bobby Murcer Award to the Arizona Diamondbacks

On August 17th, 2016, Erik Nilsen and Bobby Murcer’s son, Todd Murcer and grandson, Jack Murcer presented the Detroit Tigers of the American League with the 2016 Bobby Murcer Award.  Manager, Brad Ausmus accepted the award on behalf of the Tigers organization for their contributions.

Left to Right: Manager Brad Ausmus, Todd Murcer, Jack Murcer & Erik Nilsen

Left to Right: Manager Brad Ausmus, Todd Murcer, Jack Murcer & Erik Nilsen

Click here to view the full presentation of the 2016 Bobby Murcer Award to the Detroit Tigers

Through these charitable contributions, B.A.T. strives to provide a means of support to members of the Baseball Family in need of financial, medical and psychological assistance.

To make a contribution, please visit baseballassistanceteam.com.

Stepping up to B.A.T. with Steven Wright

2016 All-Star and pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, Steven Wright, has volunteered for our final installment of our 2016 Player Blog Series!

1. Name 2 things on your bucket list. Wright1

I love to travel so one thing on my bucket list would be to travel to the pyramids in Egypt. I think it would be an amazing thing to see something so spectacular that was built by the human hands thousands of years ago. The second thing on my bucket list would be to take my family to the Caribbean with no cell phones or internet and just disappear for awhile.

2. What’s your favorite thing about playing at Fenway?

My favorite thing about playing at Fenway is the history behind the entire stadium. I love how close the fans are to us on the field. It’s such a different feel when you’re out there playing. You can feel the history behind the game on a daily basis.

3. In what ways would you consider the baseball community a family?

The baseball community is the closest family you will get to beside your own blood. We understand the lifestyle and the struggle that goes on a day to day basis. Most of us understand the grind of the minor leagues with the lack of pay and the crazy travel schedules that go with it. Now in the big leagues it brings us even closer because we all understand the tremendous opportunity we all have and the hard work we have been putting in to continue. When you go through the ups and downs of a season it just automatically brings you together.

4. Why do you support B.A.T.?

I support B.A.T. because they are there to continue to help no matter what. They will do everything they can to help that person in need, regardless of who that person is.

5. Why do you think it is important to raise awareness about B.A.T. within the Baseball Family?

People need to understand the tremendous work B.A.T. does within the baseball community because when nobody is there to help, you can count on B.A.T. to support and help through the trial times.

Stepping up to B.A.T. with Ryan Zimmerman

This week Washington Nationals first baseman, Ryan Zimmerman, volunteered to share a little about himself!

Zimmerman21. What’s the most rewarding part of your involvement with your charity, the ziMS Foundation?

ziMS Foundation means so much to me because it was started for my mother, Cheryl. She was diagnosed with MS twenty years ago. The most rewarding part for me and my family is doing all we can to hopefully find a cure. We have met so many families that are affected by the disease and it would be incredible to help find a cure, not only for my Mom but for everyone else as well.

2. What’s your favorite quality about the Nationals fan base?

I have a special relationship with the Nationals fan base. We have been together from the very beginning, through good and bad. I think being able to see them become baseball fans over the last 11 years has been awesome. Baseball was gone from the nation’s capital for so long so it has been fun to watch a new generation of fans learn to love the great game of baseball.

3. In what ways would you consider the baseball community a family?

The baseball community is very much like a family because only we know what it’s like to go through a season. The travel and amount of games make it unlike any other sport. Because of that we are always there for each other.

4. Why do you support B.A.T.?

I support B.A.T. because I believe in helping people out when times get tough and that people deserve a second chance. When you’re playing baseball in the big leagues you never think anything bad could ever happen. Seeing some of the people come through spring training or various cities during the year and tell their stories really opens your eyes. It’s amazing what B.A.T. does to get these people back on their feet and allow them to recover.

5. Why do you think it is important to raise awareness about B.A.T. within the Baseball Family?

I think it’s important to raise awareness about B.A.T. because I’m not sure everyone knows that B.A.T. is available. They are here to help anyone and everyone involved with baseball. The more the word gets out the better chance we have to help people or families going through tough times.

One Last at B.A.T. for Tess Morales

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10 weeks later and it feels like I just got to New York yesterday. With my internship at MLB with the Baseball Assistance Team coming to a close this week, it’s hard to believe that this summer is already over. It’s challenging to put into words what I learned at 245 Park Ave and New York in general. Although at times I struggled with the fast-paced NY lifestyle (most notably the subways at rush hour), this was by far the most rewarding experience of my life. As a Sport Management major and a baseball fan, it is hard to imagine a better place to spend 40-hour work weeks, especially when it’s with the B.A.T. staff.

Coming here, I didn’t have a complete grasp on what B.A.T. did or the magnitude it impacted the lives of members of the Baseball Family. During my interview, I remember Erik, Vlad, and Michelle explaining that they didn’t have a daily routine because no day was ever the same and this proved to be true. Each day I learned something new whether it be what a reverse mortgage is (2 and a half months later I finally understand), or the difference between 1095-B’s, 1040’s, and W-2’s (impressed my parents with that one), or the right questions to ask when preparing a grant. I learned customer service skills when handling the phones, developed social media material to raise awareness, and gained knowledge about different parts of the industry during MLB’s Lunch & Learn’s with various speakers. But most importantly, I learned the meaning of the Baseball Family.

Participating in grant calls and the Board of Directors meeting, I was able to see how the game of baseball has brought the staff and B.A.T.’s constituency together. Day in and day out the office does everything in its power to provide assistance and aide to former players, coaches, umpires, staff, and all of their families. In the cut-throat world of sports, it’s not often one is exposed to the charitable and family aspect of the game which made my experience even more worthwhile.

Whether it was interviewing current players to hear why they stand by B.A.T. or listening to the former players on B.A.T.’s Board reminisce about their playing days, I was able to better understand why B.A.T. has such a dedicated support system behind it. When it came to helping the staff prepare 50+ grant cases per month, I learned how to work diligently in a team and, like most of the applicants, I learned that it is okay to ask for help. Being a part of the grant process from start to finish was such a rewarding experience that I will always be thankful for.

I want to thank Laurel, Erik, Vlad, and Michelle for their patience, dedication, and help along the way and I am grateful I was able to help out in so many different ways. I can’t wait to build upon my experience here and hopefully return to New York one day, but for now it’s back to California before school!

Stepping up to B.A.T. with Paul Goldschmidt

This week’s featured player is Paul Goldschmidt, first baseman for the Arizona Diamondbacks and four-time All-Star.

1. Who is your favorite athlete and why? pual-goldschmidt-batting

That’s a really good question. I have a lot of athletes that I look up to and try to model my game and life after. As far as baseball, some of my favorite guys to watch are right-handed hitters such as Buster Posey and Hunter Pence. I love the way those guys play the game. They always play hard, have fun, and are prepared. The same is true for starting pitchers Madison Bumgarner and Clayton Kershaw. Even though those are 2 of the best pitchers in baseball, they are always working to get better. One NFL player I admire and try to copy is Andrew Luck. He is obviously a great player, but I love the way he carries himself on and off the field. He is an extremely humble guy and always looking to make his teammates better and find a way to help his team. It doesn’t seem like he is overly worried about his own stats and his goal is to win a championship for his team.

2. What qualities do you think make for a good teammate?

There are a number of ways to be a good teammate depending on each individual’s personality. Number 1, you want a teammate to take care of himself and his job by performing to the best of his ability. A good teammate cares about the team and his teammates more than himself and is willing to sacrifice to make them better. A good teammate respects the game, his team, the opponent, and fans. A good teammate brings energy every day and holds his teammates accountable for both their good and bad actions and is always looking for ways to stay positive and keep his teammates positive.

3. In what ways would you consider the baseball community a family?

The culture of a baseball family has been created by the people who played this game way before me. It is taught at a very young age that teammates are like a family and we are to treat them like that. We spend so much time together and go through ups and downs together just like your family away from the field. Our teammates are there for us when we need them and because of the small community there is always connections to other teams and organizations. Pretty much anyone in baseball is 1-2 calls away. There are people with my organization and others in the past, present, and future that have supported me and I owe it to support them as well.

4. Why do you support B.A.T.?

I support B.A.T. because it’s the right thing to do. My faith in Jesus has called me to support others in need and B.A.T. is one way I can do that. As mentioned before, we in baseball are a family and we have an obligation to help others. Without other people sacrificing time, money, and resources for me I would not be in the major leagues now. There will come a time in the future (and there has been in the past) when I needed a helping hand and someone in baseball was there for me. I want to repay them by carrying on the tradition and helping others when they need it. It is not often we get the chance to truly save a life or make a difference in someone’s life, but through our donations to B.A.T. we can better our family, community, country, and world.

5. Why do you think it is important to raise awareness about B.A.T. within the Baseball Family?

Anyone who hears about B.A.T. and what they do is ready to drop everything to help in any way they can. One problem is that most don’t hear about B.A.T. as much as they should. With more awareness in the baseball community we can impact and help so many more people and families. Also, there are people in baseball who are struggling and need help now but don’t know where to turn. If they hear about B.A.T. and reach out for assistance then they may be able to get the help they need. B.A.T. is truly doing an amazing job changing our world one family at a time and I am proud to be part of this great organization, and I hope many more people will join in the coming years to help as many people as we can.

Thank You Thursday 7/28/2016 Edition

This week’s edition of Thank You Thursday is brought to you courtesy of a MLB club front office employee.


Dear B.A.T.,

Just wanted to say thanks again for the support last year. My girls just turned 3 this past July!

It’s amazing to think how far we have come from where we were last year and thanks to B.A.T. we have been able to get through everyday responsibilities but now also save for the future.

Hope all is well! Thanks.

If you would like to make a contribution, please visit baseballassistanceteam.com.

Stepping up to B.A.T. with Dansby Swanson

Our next featured player is Dansby Swanson, a shortstop in the Atlanta Braves organization who recently represented them in the Futures Game.

1. Have any pregame rituals? Dansby Swanson2

Pregame rituals always involve lots of stretching and relaxation, along with listening to music in my headphones. Nothing too crazy or complex.

2. Heard you’re a big fan of Tom Hanks. Why’s that?

Tom Hanks is always tremendous at what he does, and I respect his talent for what he does. Always have loved his movies, hence the place where I get my Twitter handle (@LieutenantDans7)!

3. You were born in Georgia. What’s it like being part of the Braves, an organization you grew up rooting for?

It’s as close to a dream come true as there is. Growing up in Atlanta, especially a baseball fan, I watched every game on TV and admired what they were able to accomplish.

4. In what ways would you consider the baseball community a family?

I truly believe that when people think of baseball, community is in that same image. Baseball players have a unique situation where the world truly does shrink. Everyone knows everyone and is always willing to help one another, a huge reason people believe in its community-like atmosphere.

5. Why do you think it is important to support B.A.T. and raise awareness about what they do?

B.A.T. is a positive influence in our world, and we need as much positivity as we can get. They are genuine in all they do, and each player/supporter raves about what it does in the community of baseball. Truly grateful to have learned about this organization and be able to support it.

Stepping up to B.A.T. with Danny Hultzen

This week, Danny Hultzen, a pitcher in the Seattle Mariners organization, volunteered to participate in our blog! Danny Hultzen1

1. What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?

The best piece of advice I’ve ever received is from my Dad. He always says, “Anything worth doing is worth overdoing.” I take that to heart. I do my best to take this advice into my daily life. If something is worth doing, I am going to do it right and to the best of my abilities.

2. You have dealt with multiple injuries. What motivates you to overcome them and continue playing?

I’ve dealt with a series of injuries over the past few years and my love of the game helps me get through those tough times. I really am passionate about baseball. While unfortunately I haven’t been able to play a lot recently, my love for the game helps me push through the hurdles as I’ve tried to overcome my recent injuries. I do everything in my power to help me get back on the field and missing so much time has helped me appreciate the time I’ve had playing. Being sidelined with injuries really puts things into perspective.

3. In what ways would you consider the baseball community a family?

I have been fortunate to have met some great friends and teammates while playing baseball. I’ve grown to consider many of them family. We go through so much together, including the ups and downs that are inherent while going though the marathon that is the baseball season. Sharing those times with each other, you really start to connect and develop really strong relationships with many of those people around you.

4. Why do you support B.A.T.?

I support B.A.T. because of all the good work they do. I think it is really great that B.A.T. has helped a lot of people in need who may not have anywhere else to turn to.

5. Why do you think it is important to raise awareness about B.A.T.?

I think it’s important to raise awareness about B.A.T. because of not only the great work they’ve done and continue to do, but also to help engage people in supporting the Baseball Family. Down the road, we never know if we or someone we know may be in need of assistance, but it’s very comforting to know that B.A.T. is there to help in any way they can.

Thank You Thursday 7/14/2016 Edition

This week’s Thank You Thursday is brought to you courtesy of the son of a former Negro League player.


Dear B.A.T.,

Hope this email finds you well. Again, I wish to THANK YOU for all the assistance you and Major League Baseball helped with our beloved father and mother. I will always believe that without your assistance our parents would not have successfully survived as long as they did. Our father was 90+ and mother was 93+. It is a MAJOR blessing for our family to know that Major League Baseball and B.A.T. were present. I do not know who I can Cc on this email but let them know that B.A.T. was a POSITIVE experience in our lives. I am hopeful B.A.T. is helping other Major League players who may not be able to take care of themselves. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, & THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!

If you would like to make a contribution, please visit baseballassistanceteam.com.



Stepping up to B.A.T. with Matt Cain

The current MLB players’ generosity is one of the reasons B.A.T. can provide assistance to members of the Baseball Family in need. In this blog series, players who support B.A.T. will share with us a little about themselves along with why they believe in our organization.

Stay tuned to see if your favorite player will be featured next!

Our first featured player is Matt Cain, pitcher for the San Francisco Giants. Matt Cain

1. What was going through your mind during the final innings of your perfect game in 2012?

I don’t know that I had one specific thought that was going through my mind during the ninth inning of the perfect game. But I do know that I could definitely feel the energy in the stadium, the energy from my teammates, and just the electricity of the game itself.

2. What is your favorite thing to do when not playing baseball?

When I’m not playing baseball I really enjoy getting out and playing some golf and I’ve started to try and take up a little bit of photography. I love taking pictures of my little girls and also of my wife riding her horses.

3. In what ways would you consider the baseball community a family?

Over the years of playing baseball I’ve definitely gotten to know people that I would have never gotten to know without it. And through that we have talked to past players or even present players about situations that we’re going through and they have been there to support us through it all.

4. Why do you support B.A.T.?

I’ve seen firsthand what B.A.T. can do for a family. With so many families coming in to share their stories during spring training and to be able to show what B.A.T. has done is extremely amazing.

5. Why do you think it is important to raise awareness about B.A.T. within the Baseball Family?

There are so many people that B.A.T. can help in the baseball world. It’s incredible to see how many lives they’ve touched. When I first heard of B.A.T. I only thought they could help past or present players but that wasn’t true. They can help family members in need, bullpen catchers, and so many more. The length that B.A.T. is willing to go is unbelievable.



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