Major league baseball players are giving $500,000 US to support minor leaguers whose season was cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Major League Baseball Players Association said Tuesday that money will be donated through the Major League Baseball Players Trust to More Than Baseball, a not-for-profit that benefits minor leaguers.
The big-league season was cut from 162 games to 60 because of the pandemic, causing a prorated reduction in pay. Minor league schedules were wiped out, and big-league teams gave players with minor league contracts $400 weekly stipends through May 31; many teams extended the stipends through the summer.
“Without a season, many minor league players have experienced increased financial hardship,” Leonor Colon, the union’s senior director of international and domestic player operations, said in a statement.
The donation Tuesday was part of a $1 million commitment to minor leaguers announced by the Players Trust on June 17. More Than Baseball was founded in March 2018 and funds affordable housing, food, financial guidance and mental health support for minor leaguers.
The money will go to the minor league grant program over two years for players with minor league contracts as of July 1, 2020.