The Phillies have established a $1 million fund to support its workers impacted by the delay of the 2020 MLB regular season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Baseball has been long called “America’s pastime,” and, typically has always been there when fans need to get away from the normal stressors of their day.
Now, like all other sports and most large gatherings, it has been put on hold as the COVID-19, or Novel Coronavirus, pandemic continues around the world.
In recognition of the stress and financial burden that the postponement of Major League Baseball games has on the Phillies’ workers, the team announced on Wednesday that it will establish a $1 million fund.
Phillies Managing Partner John Middleton says that during this “period of uncertainty,” the Phillies want to provide financial assistance to its staff, whose contributions are a vital part of fan experience at Citizens Bank Park.
Middleton continues, “We want them to have peace of mind as we navigate through this unprecedented time.”
The league’s other 29 teams will similarly “step up tot he plate” to help their respective employees.
“Over the past 48 hours, I have been approached by representatives of all 30 clubs to help assist the thousands of ballpark employees affected by the delay in the start of the MLB season,” Commissioner Rob Manfred recently stated. “Motivated by a desire to help some of the most valuable members of the baseball community, each Club has committed $1 million. The individual clubs will be announcing more details surrounding this support effort in their local communities.”
Manfred continues that he is “proud” that MLB’s clubs, including the Phillies, “came together so quickly and uniformly to support these individuals who provide so much to the game we love.”
Information regarding the Phillies’ employee financial assistance fund will be communicated to those impacted when details are finalized.
In addition to helping employees throughout the league, MLB and the MLB Players Association also recently committed $1 million — $500,000 each to Feeding America and Meals on Wheels America — to assist community members who have difficulty accessing food.
Originally scheduled for March 26, Opening Day is now expected to be pushed back several weeks, if not months, after recent recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). MLB had initially delayed the season for a minimum of two weeks, however the CDC recommends gatherings of more than 50 people to not occur for the next eight weeks.
Some have speculated the MLB Opening Day could occur around Memorial Day Week, while others say at least July.
Who knows when the season will begin, but, thankfully, MLB, the MLBPA, and each of its 30 teams are financially committed to support those who need it most during this difficult time.