Big League Stew

Barry Zito donating $500 to Welcome Back Veterans for every July 4th strikeout in MLB

Mark Townsend
Big League Stew

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Willie Mays, Barry Zito and Marine corporal Nicholas Kimmel prior to Game 2 of the 2012 World Series. (USA Tod …

In memory of his father, Joe Zito, who died on June 20 at the age of 84, San Francisco Giants left-hander Barry Zito has announced he’ll be making a very special 4th of July donation.

For every strikeout recorded across Major League Baseball on the Independence Day holiday, the Strikeouts for Troops founder will donate $500 to the Welcome Back Veterans Fund, which is an organization designed to provide care to veterans and their families.

The San Francisco Giants made the official announcement on their Twitter page Thursday afternoon.

This is an awesome, albeit not surprising gesture from one of baseball's more charitable players. Through his work with Strikeouts For Troops, Zito has shown that the welfare of our nation's veterans and their families is something he cares a great deal about. His announcement on Thursday only further cements his dedication to that noble cause, but it obviously carries an even greater meaning to him at this point in his life following the death of his father. Such a loss will give you that different perspective, and perhaps even renewed motivation to make a difference.

The only unfortunate thing to come out of the 4th of July donation is that Zito's Giants won't be contributing on Thursday because their game against the Cincinnati Reds has been postponed due to rain. Oh well, I'm sure he'll find a way to make up for that. Also, as is always the case on the 4th of July, MLB will be donating one-hundred percent of the profits from their "Stars and Stripes" cap and uniform sales to Welcome Back Veterans, so it's going to be a very productive day for a very worthy cause, regardless of Mother Nature's cooperation.

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