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MLB and MLBPA Expand Benefits for Living Negro Leagues Players

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Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) have announced an expansion of existing financial assistance programs to support living Negro Leagues players. (Provided)

mlb.com

Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) have announced an expansion of existing financial assistance programs to support living Negro Leagues players.

Under this joint initiative, players who played in fewer than four seasons in the Negro Leagues will now receive an annual financial benefit based on their time in the Negro Leagues. A joint committee comprised of both MLB and MLBPA officials will establish the eligibility criteria for the program.

“The players of the Negro Leagues are an important part of the history of our sport who persevered because of their love of the game despite the discrimination and segregation they faced,” said Commissioner of Baseball Robert D. Manfred, Jr. “As we prepare to celebrate their legacy in June at Rickwood Field, we are thrilled to have the opportunity to further recognize their contributions. I thank Dan Foster and the MLB Players Alumni Association for their efforts to help us build this joint program.”

“Although long overdue, it is gratifying that these former players who meant so much to our game will finally receive a retirement benefit to help them through their senior years,” said MLBPA Executive Director Tony Clark.  “This is another example of players using their collective voice to bring about progress.”

“The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association is proud to be an integral part of this initiative,” said Dan Foster, Chief Executive Officer, MLB Players Alumni Association. “We want to thank the leadership at MLB and the MLBPA for their pivotal role in making these programs available to former players.”

The program is intended to complement the Major League Baseball Players Pension Plan and the existing non-vested benefits programs for former players, both of which are jointly administered by MLB and the MLBPA.

Additional financial benefits are available to Negro Leagues players from the Baseball Assistance Team (B.A.T.), an independent nonprofit designed to help members of the Baseball Family who are in need of emergency financial, medical and other assistance.