For those who may not know, the recent tornado passed right through where I now call home. Joplin may never resemble the same area, but plenty of groups are going out of their way to make a difference. Add the Cardinals to this impressive list after today’s press conference and support with a major announcement.
For the upcoming Kansas City – St. Louis series at Busch, a commemorative patch will be worn by both teams to honor the recovery and rebuilding in Joplin.
JOPLIN, MO (June 8, 2011) — The St. Louis Cardinals announced this afternoon that they are teaming up with the Kansas City Royals, Major League Baseball and the MLBPA to help the Joplin community recover and rebuild after one of the most destructive tornadoes in Missouri history.
The team announced that their upcoming three-game series at Busch Stadium (Friday, June 17 – Sunday, June 19) with the Kansas City Royals will be dedicated to Joplin. At a press conference on a baseball field at the Joplin Athletic Complex this afternoon with Governor Jay Nixon, the team unveiled a special commemorative “Teams Unite for Joplin” jersey patch that will be worn by the Cardinals and Royals during each of the weekend’s three games.
“While we may be rivals on the baseball diamond, we are united in our commitment to help the people of Joplin,” said William DeWitt III, President of the St. Louis Cardinals.
“We are proud to partner with the St. Louis Cardinals and other Missouri sports franchises in order to offer as much assistance as possible as we help to rebuild this very proud community,” said Dan Glass, President of the Kansas City Royals.
“It is exciting that our two professional baseball franchises, two of the most prominent and visible organizations in our state, are stepping up to the plate to bolster our Joplin relief efforts,” Governor Nixon said.
The May 22nd twister that hit Joplin was classified as an EF-5 tornado, the most powerful possible. The storm left at least 141 persons dead, put more that 500 people into shelters at its peak and destroyed 6,953 houses, buildings, and schools.
Prior to the press conference, Cardinals’ players David Freese, Kyle McClellan, and Adam Wainwright, joined a contingent of team officials in touring the destruction zone and visiting families and relief workers. The Cardinals traveled to Joplin to announce the team’s commitment to direct their fundraising efforts to their charitable foundation, Cardinals Care, to help the thousands of Joplin area kids impacted by the tornado.
“We are particularly concerned about the children of Joplin,” said Michael Hall, Vice President of Cardinals Care and Community Relations. “Our fundraising efforts for this series are designed to support the commitment needed to help the kids of Joplin.”
Fans will have multiple opportunities to assist with the Joplin recovery efforts, as both teams plan a variety of fundraising initiatives. Fans will be able to purchase the special “Teams Unite for Joplin” commemorative patch at Busch Stadium and Kauffman Stadium, as well as have the opportunity through the team’s web site to bid on game-used and autographed items that include commemorative baseballs, game-used bases and line up cards. The team will also conduct an auction of once-in-a-lifetime VIP fan experiences on the team’s television and radio broadcasts. Fans at Sunday’s game may purchase a scratch off ticket for a chance to win an autographed game-used jersey from the weekend series autographed by the Cardinals player. Fans can go to www.cardinals.com/joplin to learn more about how they can help and to donate to Cardinals Care’s Joplin relief efforts.
Cardinals Care is dedicated to caring for kids. Since it was founded in 1997, Cardinals Care has distributed over $17 million to area non-profit youth organizations, build 19 youth ball fields in local disadvantaged neighborhoods and currently serves over 4,500 kids in the Redbird Rookies program.
While we here at PH8 do not normally post press releases, this is far from a normal situation. The United Cardinal Bloggers community was well represented today and thank you for all the support during the past few weeks. I hope a strong showing can make it out for the I-70 Series and not just for the awesome prizes! Joplin will always be my home, and the outpouring from everywhere will help it recoup and be stronger.