Blue moon nights (or the limits of Big League charity)


Listening to baseball games on the radio, it seems you can’t go a half inning without something “being brought to you by” someone. For example, at Mets and Yankees games, the fifteenth batter is brought to you by Geico, where a fifteen minute phone call can save you a bunch of money on your car insurance.
    Sponsors pony up for home runs, strikeouts, for stolen bases, etc. One of the most unusual I’ve heard comes from Azek Trimoboard, manufacturers of “compression polymers.”
     Here’s the deal: If a Mets’ pitcher retires a batter on a called third strike in the fourth inning, the Azek will donate $250 to A.L.S. research.
     That stuck in my mind: How often does such that happen? Seems very limited, a rare occurence which makes the $250 seem very paltry, so I did some research.
     As of June 8, Mets’ pitchers have retired the opposition in this manner 15 times; only once have two batters been erased thusly in a single inning. So that works out to $3750. Big wup.
     In contrast, for every strikeout the Mets’ staff colletcs, the Mets, Hyundai, and SportsNet New York donate $25 to the Hope and Heroes Children’s Cancer Fund. May not sound like a lot but those “Ks” add up, to the tune of more than $13,000 as of June 29 (even though that works out to about $8 from each of the three entities).
     AIG donates $250 for every home run the Mets hit at Shea Stadium. That amounts to to $11,750 as of June 29. They spread the wealth around, too: each new series benefits a different charity. So far, that includes such organizations as Feed the Children, Big Brothers/Big Sisters of New York City, Junior Achievement of New York, and Rusty Staub’s New York Police & Fire Widows’ and Children’s Benefit Fund, among others.
     You’d think such business would be able to afford a to brak open the wallet a bit more. On the other hand, I suppose every little bit helps.
     Here’s a list of the Mets’ community work, as posted on their Web site. Each major league team has similar information posted.

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