"Just Keep Playing Baseball": Shin-Soo Choo Donates $1,000 to Each Minor Leaguer in the Rangers System

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“Just Keep Playing Baseball”: Shin-Soo Choo Donates $1,000 to Each Minor Leaguer in the Rangers System

Chicago Cubs

If you’re anything like me, you’re stuck in a frustrating loop of incessantly checking for COVID-19 updates … while also feeling generally overwhelmed and tired by the very same thing. It’s a never-ending cycle, from which I’m trying my best to break free. However, one thing I’m decidedly not sick of is the feel-good stories of individuals, teams, and cities stepping up to support their fellow humans in an obvious time of need.

You remember some of the latest:

Well, today’s feel-good story doesn’t have a Cubs or even Chicago twist to it, but it’s such a uniquely awesome gesture that I couldn’t help but to pass it along.

Here’s the gist from Evan Grant:

Shin-Soo Choo has been quietly donating $1,000 to each of the 190 minor leaguers in the Texas Rangers system. Which is just unbelievably generous, kind, and thoughtful of him. In fact, it’s apparently something he brought up to the Rangers a couple weeks ago, shortly after camp was shut down (he didn’t waste any time doing the right thing).

The story was initially reported by Naver Sports, a Korean sports website, citing the following text exchange between Choo and Rangers minor league outfielder Eli White:

“Just keeping playing baseball.” What a line.

MLB had already agreed to pay Minor Leaguers $400/week through the month of May, but it seems clear that this hiatus will linger well beyond the next 30 days. And, of course, that’s not much to live on to begin with; As Grant points out at The Dallas Morning News, most minor leaguers have not received a paycheck from their Major League team since last September.

And with no clear timetable when things will return – plus closures pretty much throughout the country – it’s exceedingly difficult for those guys to get and keep interim jobs. So what Choo is doing is not only generous, it’s an extremely effective use of his dollars. Most of these players need the money as much as anyone out there.

Choo knows that better than most:

And he’s not just a purveyor of dollars, he also has some wisdom to deal, as well:

Including the right mentality on where to focus our attention:

With that said, I do hope the Cubs (and/or one of their higher paid players) do take after Choo’s lead. Because aside from it being the right thing to do, the most cynical reason is still a good one: let’s keep these guys healthy, fed, happy, and focused on baseball. This will pass eventually, and you’ll want your players to be in the best possible shape. If an extra $1,000 can accomplish that, now’s the time.

So while Shin-Soo Choo is not a Chicago Cubs player, he is an extraordinary person. So today, I’m proud to call myself his fan.



Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami covers the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami