The Milwaukee Brewers are no strangers to helping in the community. Players throughout the clubhouse, and employees throughout the ball club, participate in the Milwaukee area and statewide on a level to rival any other organization in sport.
Rickie Weeks is one of the best among them, and through his efforts he has been nominated for Major League Baseball’s Roberto Clemente Award – honoring the off-field contributions of baseball players in both leagues.
Not that many among baseball fans need the lesson, but the Roberto Clemente Award has been awarded yearly since 1971 – marking the untimely death of Pittsburgh Pirates star Roberto Clemente, who was killed in on New Year’s Eve of that year when his plane went down en route to deliver much-needed aid to earthquake victims in Nicaragua. Honoring his unyielding devotion to helping those less fortunate, Major League Baseball presents this award to the player in both leagues who most lives up to the example that Clemente set.
This year’s nominee for Milwaukee, Rickie Weeks, exemplifies that tradition to those less fortunate. Rickie has taken over $100,000 of his own money and given it to the Brewers Community Foundation to aid their programs, as well as the YMCA to keep funding for much-needed programs promoting children’s health.
That says nothing of the fact that he spends considerable time in helping the YMCA with meet-and-greets and a program that gives away tickets Weeks purchases and gives to the organization to give children with little financial means the chance to catch a game. Along that line, he also has been heavily involved with the Fatherhood Initiative, hosting a trip that took fathers and their sons to see the Brewers take on the St. Louis Cardinals this year in Busch Stadium.
His commitment to the children and families of Wisconsin has been monumental this year. He continues to provide visits and sponsorship of the Boys & Girls Club – donating time and money to Team Smile which helps children obtain free dental care. He also sponsors the Teach for America program in Milwaukee and will sponsor it again next year.
Besides those gifts that help the community in general, he is also helping youth rediscover the magic of baseball with more than his exciting play of late. Not only did he purchase two new scoreboards for the Beckham-Stapleton Little League Program, but he is also a producer – a producer – in a play about Jackie Robinson that is currently being put together for the First Stage Children’s Theatre in Milwaukee. Rickie Weeks understands that the passion of sports can teach children about more than winning and losing, it can teach kids about hope and change and charity and the good things that can happen when people can work together.
For that alone, Rickie Weeks deserves our admiration. If you’d like to vote for him (which you should) you can do so here. You get a chance to win some World Series tickets, but being able to recognize just one of the tremendously charitable people that make up the Milwaukee Brewers should be enough reason for anybody.