Miami Marlins CEO Derek Jeter met with members of the baseball and softball teams from Marjory Stoneman Douglas (Parkland, Fla.) High School on Friday at the team’s spring training, in wake of the massacre that killed 17 people at the school on Feb. 14.
The Marlins organization welcomed the athletes to Jupiter, Fla., and provided free tickets for their exhibition opener against the St. Louis Cardinals. Jeter, along with Marlins players and coaches, took pictures and signed autographs with the teenagers.
“It’s been a sad week, a sad couple weeks, actually,” Connor Brian, a Stoneman student told ABC 10 News. “Just being here, watching baseball, practicing throughout the week, it’s just been great. Gets our minds off things.”
Marlins players were fittingly wearing Stoneman Douglas t-shirts with “MSD” patches on their jerseys. All 30 MLB teams will wear Douglas hats before and after spring training games this weekend to honor the Parkland school.
New Era made more than 2,500 “MSD” hats to be distributed to players, managers, coaches and umpires. After the hats are worn, teams can have them signed and auctioned off to benefit shooting victims and their families.
Jeter, who became CEO and part-owner of the Marlins in September, told TMZ Sportsearlier this week that the Marlins will “do their part” in helping Florida heal. The former New York Yankees great compared the aftermath of the Parkland tragedy to Sept. 11.
“We knew, playing in New York, that we couldn’t change the events that occurred,” Jeter said at a Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce event in Davie, Fla. “All we could possibly do is give fans the opportunity — we looked at it as we were distracting the fans three hours a day. It was great to see how the community rallied around us.”