Baseball Assistance Team



B.A.T. will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the New York Mets at the 23rd Annual Going to Bat for B.A.T. Fundraising Dinner to be held Tuesday, January 24, 2012 at the New York Marriot Marquis in Times Square. The announcement was made at the MLB Fan Cave in New York City's Greenwich Village with the help of Hall of Famer's Joe Morgan & Ralph Kiner and Mets legends Ed Kranepool, Darryl Strawberry and Barry Lyons and MLB Fan Cave inhabitant Mike O'Hara and his wingman Ryan Wagner.

Mets pitching great Ron Darling joins B.A.T. President and 1986 Broadcaster Gary Thorne as Co-Emcees for the event. Current and legendary Mets will comprise the majority of the baseball legends on hand and as always there will be the largest gathering of Hall of Famers outside of Cooperstown. "Playing in the National League for so long I forged great relationships with many former Mets as well as my brethren in the Hall," said Dinner Chair-man and Hall of Famer Joe Morgan. "I am really looking forward to this."

B.A.T. has invited members of the original 1962 Mets along with the World Champion 1969 & 1986 Teams as well as many other Mets legends. Sched-uled to attend are Hall of Famers Willie Mays, Tom Seaver and Ralph Kiner, Original Met Ed Kranepool, Darryl Strawberry, Dwight Gooden and even Choo Choo Coleman from the 1962 Mets. A current list can be found on the Baseball Assistance Team Facebook page.

As tradition, guests will be able to get free autographs from the baseball legends during the cocktail reception. During the dinner former Mets outfielder Carlos Beltran will be awarded the Bart Giamatti Award and Baltimore Orioles centerfielder Adam Jones will be presented with the Frank Slocum/Big B.A.T. Award. The Bobby Murcer Award will recognize the current players from the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees who donated the most money to B.A.T. during the 2011 Spring Training Tour in their respective leagues.

Both teams are repeat winners!

Message from B.A.T. President Gary Thorne

Gary Thorne As the need for B.A.T.'s assistance increases, as can be seen elsewhere in this newsletter, the work of the staff, Board and volunteers becomes that much more essential and complex.

We have attempted through our awareness program to inform more members of the Baseball Family of B.A.T.'s existence. That program is working. The result is an increase in requests, together with the reality that requests for more expensive medical services are growing. More than ever the work of those involved in B.A.T.becomes vital. This is a 'thank you' to all who fill those needs and know that your efforts have allowed B.A.T. to extend its services to an increased number of the Baseball Family.

I hope you will join us at what promises to be an exemplary annual Going to Bat for B.A.T. Fundraising Dinner in January. That is a chance not only to raise needed funds, but to celebrate the work of B.A.T. and your involvement in making B.A.T.'s work possible.

-Gary Thorne

Jose Canseco Dedicates His Support of B.A.T.
on The Celebrity Apprentice

Jose Canseco

Former Major League Baseball player Jose Canseco joined 15 celebri-ties and of course Donald Trump on Season 11 of The Celebrity Apprentice which aired earlier this year. If you are unfamiliar with the NBC show, the difference between it and The Apprentice is that instead of contest-ants battling for a job with Trump they are competing in business challenges around New York City to ultimately raise money for their selected charities. Before the start of this year's season, the contestants announced the charities and causes they would be supporting. When the show interviewed Canseco, he said, "My charity is B.A.T. which is Baseball Assistance Team." By participating in The Celebrity Apprentice Canseco said he hoped that he could put B.A.T. on the map and gather money to assist members of the Baseball Family with their financial burdens.

Midway through the season, Canseco received news that his father was very ill so he made the extremely difficult decision to withdraw from the show (his father passed away in March, 2011). However, when Canseco stepped into Trump's office he explained the relationship he had with his father. Trump asked if he had a very good relationship with his father. Canseco responded, "He taught me how to play baseball." Before Canseco exited the office, Trump left him with encouraging words, including perhaps the best thing Canseco heard all day. Trump displayed his sympathy by saying he'd pledge $25,000 to Canseco's charity - B.A.T.

Canseco ended the show by stating, "My experience with The Apprentice was very positive. I got to meet a lot of industry leaders, make a whole lot of friends, and then of course, the best thing was Mr. Trump giving my charity $25,000, which is great."

"We are grateful that Jose remembered his baseball roots and pledged his support for the Baseball Assistance Team," said B.A.T. Executive Director Joseph Grippo. "During this economic downturn $25,000 goes a long way to help members of the Baseball Family."


B.A.T. Executive Director Joseph Grippo & Coordinator Dominique Correa recently visited the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico as the demand for assistance in both places are growing quickly. In 2007 B.A.T. assisted 7 people in Puerto Rico and 3 people in the Dominican Republic. In 2011 B.A.T. will assist at least 41 people in Puerto Rico and 32 in the Dominican Republic.

Dr. Genoveva Javier oversees an office B.A.T. established in the Dominican Republic along with Michelle Mendez. Benny Ayala serves as an advisor in Puerto Rico. All three tirelessly work to provide B.A.T. with the information necessary in order to assist people within the guidelines of the charity. The following are stories from two grant recipients who have stepped forward with their story in order to help raise awareness for B.A.T.

Miguel Mejia

Miguel Mejia

I had a brief career as an outfielder for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1996. I live with my wife Ana Maria in San Pedro de Macoris, DR with our three children ages 16, 10, & 4. I was admitted to the hospital last July after suffering from Pancreatic Pseudocyst. Since I was recently out of work and did not have health insurance, one of my friends referred me to B.A.T.

As luck would have it, Dr. Genoveva Javier (pictured at right with Miguel) happened to be in a nearby town meeting with some grant recipients when my friend informed her that I was in the hospital. After numerous calls to arrange for the best possible treatment, Dr. Javier was able to get me admitted to Clinica Constitution in Sa Cristobal where she and B.A.T. covered the costs of the emergency Peritonitis surgery and my subsequent blood transfusion.

I know without Dr Javier's presence I would not be alive today. Within 2-3 months I will be healthy enough to work. I am blessed and my family is forever thankful to her and the assistance from B.A.T. Thank you all.

Jesus Rivera

Jesus Rivera

About 1 years ago, I was suffering from drug addiction and my life was a mess (literally) and I lost everything. I tried a couple of times but failed. One day my father Jesus "Bombo" Rivera told me that Benny Ayala (pictured below with Jesus) was going to try to help me. I remember talking to Mr. Ayala about my drug addiction and he told me that I had to meet up with Joseph Grippo at Mayaguez in June of 2010. Mr. Grippo set up a call with Sam McDowell. I knew then that I had hope and had a group of people that were willing to help me get throughout my recovery.

I followed Mr. McDowell's instructions. I went to an 18-day DETOX center and entered into a Salvation Army Rehabilitation Center in San Juan, PR. I also attended NA meetings and my life started changing dramatically. I started seeing things differently, I knew that I had a chance for success and the only thing I had to do was to have desire and will.

It has been 1 year and 4 months that I've been sober and I feel great. I am currently studying to become a Massage Therapist at POPAC in Ponce, PR with a 3.95 GPA. I am more than half way done and hope to graduate in June, 2012. My recovery has been and friends. II learned that it is never too late to better myself and I will continue my recovery for the

-Sincerely, Jesus M Rivera JR