Friday marked the first official games of Spring Training for all Major League Baseball teams, and officials on Park Avenue used the opportunity to help its teams send a statement of support for victims and survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas mass shooting in Parkland, Florida.
Major League Baseball officials decided that all teams would wearing Stoneman Douglas hats during their Spring Training openers. Players from teams in both the Grapefruit League in Florida and Cactus League in Arizona donned black caps with an interlocking “SD” logo in honor of the school, as you can see below.
All 30 teams will have players sign the Stoneman Douglas caps after they have been worn in the games, with the signed hats then auctioned off to raise funds for the Broward Education Foundation, which will benefit the official Stoneman Douglas Victims’ Fund.
Meanwhile, members of the Eagles’ baseball and softball teams visited the Spring Training homes of the Marlins and World Series champion Astros to meet with managers, owners and players.
Interestingly, Astros Manager A.J. Hinch did not wear the hat throughout all his time at the team facility Friday, instead speaking about wearing the hats while still donning an Astros batting practice lid before switching them out before Houston’s first game, where the Astros also had Stoneman Douglas senior Angelique Menese sign the National Anthem.
The idea for the Stoneman Douglas caps came from the Marlins, who asked MLB for permission to wear the hats to honor the school, which is less than an hour from their home stadium. Baseball officials obliged, and soon other teams got wind of the fundraising idea and agreed to join in as well.
The result was a powerful image from across baseball just more than a week after one of America’s most tragic mass shootings. It was a small respite from the tragedy that has struck the Florida town, but perhaps brought a smile regardless.