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Teams Around Baseball Respond to Hurricane Harvey

Houston Astros

In light of the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey, many teams around baseball are having to make scheduling adjustments. At the same time, many are also stepping up to assist in the ongoing recovery efforts

On Monday, Major League Baseball confirmed that a three-game series beginning on Tuesday between the Houston Astros and Texas Rangers was being relocated to Tropicana Field, the home of the Tampa Bay Rays. The possibility of playing the Astros’ upcoming three-game series against the New York Mets at Tropicana Field was also left open, but no official announcement is expected until later this week.

While the relocation of those games was a major part of the story, Monday’s announcement also revealed how the sides will aid in recovery efforts. MLB and the Major League Baseball Players Association announced a joint $1 million donation to various recovery efforts, while Jim Crane, the Astros ownership group, and the Astros Foundation have pledged a $4 million donation.

“We are committed to doing our part to provide aid and assistance to the thousands of Houston-area residents that are desperately in need right now,” Crane said in a statement. “We encourage others in our region and beyond to help out in any way that they can.”

Furthermore, Ballpark of the Palm Beaches–spring training home of the Astros and Washington Nationals–began accepting donations for items that will be delivered to Houston in early September. The Palm Beach Post has more on that effort:

Crane Worldwide Logistics, a company owned by Astros owner Jim Crane, will transport the items to Houston.

 “The Astros are a part of our community and we have a direct connection with the team,’’ said stadium general manager Brady Ballard, whose staff broached the idea of the ballpark helping with relief efforts.

“The people in West Palm Beach are familiar with what hurricanes can do so we want to do what we can to help the folks in Texas.’’

Preferred donations include bottled water, non-perishable food times, blankets, diapers, socks and underwear, baby food, toilet paper, dental hygiene products, bath essentials, animal crates, dry dog food, flashlights and batteries.

Outside of the majors, a few teams have had their schedules affected. The Sugar Land Skeeters (independent; Atlantic League) had a series against the New Britain Bees relocated to New Britain Stadium. The Bees have been asking fans to make donations to American Red Cross Disaster Relief fund in lieu of tickets, while the Skeeters’ Constellation Field has been used as a shelter.

The Round Rock Express, meanwhile, postponed their Monday night series opener against the Colorado Springs Sky Sox at Dell Diamond. Though the club is slated to resume play on Tuesday, it needed extra time to get the ballpark back in order after the storms. More from The Austin American-Statesman:

Express president Chris Almendarez said a day was needed to clean up minor flooding in offices and suites and repair some signs that were torn down.

“In my eight years here, this is probably the worst damage we’ve had,” Almendarez said. “We have water in suites 1 through 22, in the control room, the press box. We’re pulling out carpeting and furniture to let it dry.

“This is probably the earliest we’ve ever postponed a game, but we are sensitive to much more serious situations going on in communities to our east and south. And we’re all praying for Houston and the Gulf Coast.”

The Express laid the tarp on the infield Friday night — and Dell Diamond drains well — but when a tarp is on a field for 72 hours straight, there are concerns about fungus growing under it.

As noted, plenty of teams have been rolling out initiatives to aid in the recovery of those affected by Hurricane Harvey. The RangersFrisco RoughRiders (Class AA; Texas League), Reading Fightin Phils (Class AA; Eastern League), Boise Hawks (Short Season A; Northwest League), and Tri City ValleyCats (Short Season A; NY-Penn League) are among those that have announced initiatives, and be sure to stay posted as other clubs unveil their plans.

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