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09/01/2005 4:47 PM ET
Major League Baseball launches hurricane relief effort
Contributions expected to exceed $3 million

Major League Baseball has launched a relief plan that provides resources and coordinates the efforts of its clubs, the players, its business partners, employees and fans to aid in the relief of the victims of Hurricane Katrina, Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig announced today. The Major League Baseball Players Association has agreed to join the effort.

The first phase of the program is a $1 million joint donation by Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association to the American Red Cross. Overall, MLB's relief plan is expected to generate more than $3 million in aid for the hurricane victims.

"Major League Baseball wants to do its share to help those who are suffering from the devastating wreckage caused by Hurricane Katrina," Commissioner Selig said. "I thank the Players Association for joining us in making this initial contribution and I thank in advance our clubs, players, employees, business partners and fans who offer assistance in the days ahead.

"We in Major League Baseball express our sorrow to those who have lost loved ones, and we pray for a swift recovery for those whose lives have been so tragically and unbearably disrupted."

Players Association Executive Director Don Fehr said: "This is a national tragedy. Players across the country are calling in expressing their desire to help and we will be working closely with the clubs to provide some measure of relief to all the victims of this catastrophe."

Other elements of the program in addition to the joint MLB-MLBPA contribution include the following:

• On September 7th, which Major League Baseball celebrates as Roberto Clemente Day throughout Baseball, all 15 clubs that are at home will pass the hat among fans to collect funds for the Red Cross relief effort. Major League Baseball will match up to $1 million that is collected that day.

• Players on September 7th will wear a Red Cross patch, emblematic of the relief effort, and the Red Cross logo along with the telephone number to call in donations will appear on the sides of the bases.

• The 15 visiting clubs on September 7th will host relief collection efforts on days of their choosing.

• Beginning today through the end of the season,, Major League Baseball's website, will donate $1 to the relief effort for every purchase made on the website.

• and also will display prominent links to the Red Cross and other relief agencies to facilitate its users who wish to make contributions.

• Major League Baseball will utilize its own broadcast inventory, both nationally and locally, to help the relief effort.

• Major League Baseball and its partners, Anheuser-Busch, Wheaties, DHL, Chevrolet, Taco Bell and Bank of America, will contribute electronic home plate signage to help promote the hurricane relief effort.

Major League Baseball believes it is fitting to devote its Roberto Clemente Day to the relief effort, because Clemente, a Hall of Famer and one of the game's greatest players, gave his life while on a mercy mission to help earthquake victims in Nicaragua on New Years Eve 1972. The Roberto Clemente Award is presented each year by John Hancock to the player who, besides being outstanding on the field of play, does outstanding work in the community.