NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – While Major League Baseball continues to argue over multi-million-dollar pay cuts, the ones lost in this battle are the Minor League players.
In a typical season, minor leaguers don’t take home much as is and right now due to the coronavirus pandemic and the inactivity of the sport, some clubs aren’t opting to pay their players meaning some are making nothing.
A Single-A player makes $6,000 on average and here in Nashville, the Sounds — who are at the highest level at Triple-A — make an average of $15,000. That take-home pay is only for the months their in action. It doesn’t include spring training or the months of not playing, so that is it for the entire year.
To make matters worse, the average major league team is worth $1.78 billion.
The numbers are staggering, so Michael Rivers, a baseball fan from Minnesota, wanted to help. No, he’s not a billionaire, he just recognized a need. In his words, he “needed a win.” His father was diagnosed with cancer in the fall of 2019 and after some positive news, his health declined in February of 2020. So, not only did Rivers want to help for the sake of the player, but also to boost his own morale.
It started by reaching out to one player and offering support to what is now an official non-profit named “Adopt a Minor Leauger.”
“When it started getting big and catching fire I was like I got to do this, you know? I’ve got to take advantage of this and make it into a nonprofit and grow with it,” he said.
Not only did his small act of kindness grow, but the concept of the organization itself grew, too.
“It isn’t just some cold, hard donate your money, you don’t even see where your money goes – that kind of stuff. We have that sponsorship where it’s a one-on-one relationship and see that need and address that need and see where your money goes directly because you’re the one doing it.”