Recruiting the Free2Play Team
I told you a bit about the early days of the Free2Play team last time. We’ve added so many players to the team this season. That’s what I want to tell you about now.
When I signed on with Dave Batstone at Not For Sale, he suggested that I get involved with the Free2Play campaign, and I loved the idea. I called Matt Holliday and some others guys and they jumped in, but in those early days, I didn’t have much time to expand on it.
This spring opened up new opportunities because Dave was able to come to Arizona for spring training. I figured our best approach was to attend the Bible studies held for players and their wives, and for me to do the talking.
I figured I’d do the talking because I know how it is for baseball players. I told Dave, “You can go and talk to them, and you can express everything that you want to express to them, but sometimes, you know, a baseball player coming in and talking to another baseball player and his wife has a lot more impact simply because I understand what’s going on.”
One of the things I understand is that everybody is after their money. So many different organizations ask for our support, and they are all really good organizations with important missions. Given the opportunity, every charitable organization will give you a good reason why you should support it. So I said, “Dave, you’re not going to seem any different than any other organization.”
Now human trafficking is obviously different, more frustrating, but there are a lot of ways for players to fight injustice too. I knew if I could talk to players and their wives using a voice from baseball, and tell them why I feel ballplayers have a unique calling to get involved and become a team on this, it would probably go a little further.
Another thing I understand is that players focus on what we’re doing on the field. Often it’s the wives that are involved in charity work and telling their husbands that they need to get involved. That’s one prominent reason why I figured our best approach was to go to Bible study. At Bible study, we can talk with ballplayers and their wives together. In addition, those of us at Bible study share a common purpose. We love Jesus. We understand that Jesus loved His neighbor as Himself and fed the poor. This made Bible studies the perfect places to talk about Free2Play.
Dave and I were able to attend all three of the Bible studies that were run in the Phoenix area during spring training. In the study I normally go to, we have a lot of players from the Diamondbacks, the Rockies, the Cubs, the A’s, and the Giants, and so we have a pretty big study and I know a lot of the guys in there. So that was one of the studies that I really wanted to speak into.
And so I sat with them, and it worked really well. Next time I’ll tell you what I said. See you Wednesday.