Thank You Thursday 4/30/15 Edition

This week’s edition of Thank You Thursday comes to you courtesy of a former Minor League Player.


 Dear B.A.T.,

Not long ago I had the information about your organization and at that moment we were in the middle of a very difficult economic situation, a moment where you don’t really know what to do to resolve all the problems you have in front of you. I still remember the first day I had a conversation with the B.A.T. office in NY, a very tough situation for me because it was the first time ever I was asking for help. This marvelous organization was there to give me the support I needed in that moment. Now we have a new hope and a positive way to see our future as a family. You can count on me at any time to help and you can use my name and the pictures of my family to let everybody know all the good things you are doing in order to help people from baseball in difficulties.

God bless you all and I wish you all the best!


Elias Lugo


To make a contribution, please visit

Thank You Thursday 4/2/2015 Edition

This week’s edition of Thank You Thursday comes to you courtesy of a widow of a former Minor League Player.


Dear B.A.T.,

Here it is April 1st and Opening Day is right around the corner.  We’ve lost our pitcher, Yu Darvish, to Tommy John surgery for a year.  Hopefully the season will get better.

I have made a lot of new friends and am participating in more activities.   Am doing water exercise three times a week and still playing Bridge and Bingo.  The food here is really good and am still trying to gain some weight.  My blood pressure still is a problem but I like my doctor and he is trying to get it under control.

The move was good and it is comforting to know my daughter and her family are near by.

Thank you, your staff and Committee for your continued help.


To make a contribution, please visit

The B.A.T. 2015 Spring Training Tour Continued Last Week in Arizona

The B.A.T. 2015 Spring Training Tour continued last week in Arizona.  B.A.T. Administrator, Michelle Fucich visited with the Chicago Cubs MiLB players, Oakland A’s MiLB players and the Oakland A’s player wives.  As a part of B.A.T.’s “Friend-Raising” tour, these presentations were made to make members of the baseball family aware that B.A.T. is a safety net for them just in case they fall on hard times.

The Baseball Assistance Team (B.A.T.) is a great resource for members of the Baseball Family in need of medical, financial or psychological assistance.

Check out a few pictures from Michelle Fucich’s Spring Training visits!

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B.A.T. Administrator, Michelle Fucich visited with the Chicago Cubs MiLB players

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Michelle Fucich visited with the Oakland A’s MiLB players

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Grant Recipient Bernie Nunez & wife Ruby Lucero-Nunez share their story for the benefit of the organization.

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Bernie Nunez & Michelle Fucich

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Michelle Fucich attended a Spring Training game at Goodyear Ballpark – Cleveland Indians vs Los Angeles Angels


Thank You Thursday 3/26/2015 Edition

This week’s edition of Thank You Thursday comes to you courtesy of a widow of a former Umpire.


Dear B.A.T.,

I hope all is well and you are enjoying the new year.  

Thank you so much for the help you are giving me for my rent and medical bills.

 I am so grateful to you.  

With your help, I can live a happier life day to day.

Thank you so much!


To make a contribution, please visit

MLB Dominican Republic Educational Summit

On February 11th, the Major League Baseball office in the Dominican Republic hosted the Education Summit for former players who are making a transition back into civilian life. In attendance were Rafael Perez (Director, MLB-DR), Neskys Liriano (Education and Community Initiative Specialist), Dr. Genoveva Javier (B.A.T. Consultant) and INFOTEP (the National Technical and Vocational Training Institute). This institute prepares them into seeking jobs or creating their own small business, not matter how old they are, with the help of multiple workshops and basic education.

Elsie Alvarez explained the importance of having a basic education to stay afloat and to becoming self-sufficient. She also explained the difficulties retired players with no work experience face and inhibit them from progressing on their own. Most importantly, Elsie urged the participants to open their mind to the idea of looking for employment not related to baseball. INFOTEP provides resources and services in vocational training and helps transition former players to civilian life. Retired player Johan Minaya shared his own experience stating he felt he had nowhere to turn until he entered this educational program and is now working at MLB DR office as an Intern in the Registration Department (responsible for registering baseball prospects who want to sign a contract with any MLB teams).

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Now Batting – Vladimir Cruz

VC headshot

Hi everyone! My name is Vladimir Cruz and I am the new Coordinator for the Baseball Assistance Team. I was brought on board in December 2014 and humbled for the opportunity to help members of the Baseball Family in need. I remember playing sandlot baseball with friends and trying to emulate my heroes growing up, wearing a batting glove in my fielding glove and yelling out “I’m number 2,” (A tribute to my childhood hero Derek Jeter). I remember learning the importance of teamwork, caring, and sharing on and off the field and decided to study Political Science at Fordham University. The Jesuit ideals of being a person for others spoke to me but the game always called to me.  In 2007, I started working for the New York Mets as a Fan Greeter and I never looked back.

After a couple of stints at Madison Square Garden, Barclays Center, and Yankee Stadium, my old employer from the Mets reached out to me about the Baseball Assistance Team and the work they do. From that moment I knew I had to be a part of this team. I will be primarily responsible for our grassroots movement of expanding help into Latin American countries. From the couple of months I’ve worked here I can tell that my teammates have a passion for what they do and it makes the work we do that much more rewarding. Our Director tells me, “A team is not a group of people who work together. A team is a group of people who trust each other” and I trust that together, we will make a genuine difference in the lives of our baseball family members.

Thank You Thursday 2/26/2015 Edition

This week’s edition of Thank You Thursday comes to you courtesy of a former Minor League player.



Dear B.A.T,

I told Dr Rodriguez they don’t make bubble gum cards for doctors like Mickey Mantle or Derek Jeter but he is a true Hall of Famer who changes lives. He told me the surgery is risky, as I know from many past ones. I have never been in better hands and I know how fortunate the unlikely odds of meeting him are. None of which would have been possible without BAT.

Thank you!


To make a contribution, please visit

B.A.T. presents the 2014 NL Bobby Murcer Award to the Philadelphia Phillies

The Cleveland Indians and Philadelphia Phillies are the recipients of the 2014 Bobby Murcer Award. This is the first time either club has won the award since 2009 .  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 (Indians) and National League (Phillies) whose players commit the most amount of money to B.A.T.

B.A.T. Director, Erik Nilsen attended the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association’s Annual Dinner on January 16th, 2015.  Erik presented the 2014 NL Bobby Murcer Award to Phillies Manager and Hall of Fame player, Ryne Sandberg who accepted the award on behalf of the Philadelphia Phillies. B.A.T. would like to thank Susan Ingersoll Papaneri & Larry Litwin for all of their help in making this opportunity available.

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.

B.A.T. Director, Erik Nilsen and Phillies Manager, Ryne Sandberg

B.A.T. Director, Erik Nilsen and Phillies Manager, Ryne Sandberg


Thank You Thursday 2/12/2015 Edition

This week’s Thank You Thursday comes to you courtesy of a former Major League player.


Dear B.A.T.,

To say that we are grateful would represent a hint of how we truly feel. The extension of help to us has allowed us to wake up differently. Even better, it has allowed us to get a good nights sleep finally. Some updates doesn’t take many words. We are indeed catching up.

 Thank you B.A.T.!


To make a contribution, please visit

Thank You Thursday 1/22/2015 Edition

This week’s Thank You Thursday comes to you courtesy of a former Front Office employee.



Thank you again for the help you gave me when I was down and out following my surgery.  If it wasn’t for your help, I would have lost my house, job, sanity and who knows what else.  After you helped me, I ended up having 3 more surgeries.  You helping me in a time of need will never be forgotten.  Since my recovery, I have excelled in many goals.  I was also named employee of the month.

Thank you very much!


To make a contribution, please visit


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