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Washington Nationals donate $1M to fund for ballpark workers

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The Washington Nationals and each of the other 29 MLB teams donated $1M to a fund to support stadium workers while the start of the season is delayed.

MLB: World Series-Houston Astros at Washington Nationals Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports

Washington’s Nationals joined the other 29 Major League Baseball teams on Tuesday in donating $1M to a fund set up to help, “stadium staff who play such an important role in fostering a sense of community among our fans,” while MLB’s 2020 season is delayed by concerns over the COVID-19/coronavirus pandemic.

With the start of the regular season pushed back by at least eight weeks right now, stadium workers and their ability to earn a living during the next few months were a topic of concern for everyone involved in the game.

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said, in a press release on the donations, that the teams came together to create the fund.

“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 Major League Baseball season,” Manfred explained. “Motivated by 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.”

The Nationals released a separate statement on Twitter explaining their own contribution to the fund.

“Many of our stadium team members have been part of the Washington Nationals since the beginning. We know the decision to postpone the season was the correct one, but it would be wrong for that decision to disproportionately impact those individuals who rely on income from working games to help support their families.

“We wanted to begin to lessen the worry associated with the season’s delay. As a country, as a region, and as a fan base we are stronger when we support one another.”

Details on how and when the funds will be made available are forthcoming.

“The timing of these announcements will vary because of the need to coordinate with state and local laws as well as collective bargaining obligations in an effort to maximize the benefits realized by each group of employees,” Manfred said, as quoted on MLB.com. “I am proud that our clubs came together so quickly and uniformly to support these individuals who provide so much to the game we love.”

In addition to the fund for stadium employees, “MLB and the MLB Players Association made a combined $1 million commitment — split evenly between Feeding America (FeedingAmerica.org) and Meals on Wheels America (MealsonWheelsAmerica.org) – to assist those who have difficulty accessing food,” while businesses and schools nationwide are shut down due to concerns over the spread of the virus.

Cool, cool, cool, now do minor leaguers.