Forget RBIs. I’m Keeping Score of CSR During the World Series

Forget RBIs. I’m Keeping Score of CSR During the World Series

While most fans are watching player performance or yucking it up over the lack of respect suffered by the Cubs and Indians for generations, I’m keeping an eye on the fall classic for social and environmental sidebars.

Clevelander Gary Weiland sent me a photo today showing him and his niece, Jennifer Frantz, beaming with pride at Progressive Field Wednesday night.

Weiland, a veteran corporate communications executive who worked for the Cleveland Clinic for more than 20 years, donned a “Green Team” shirt and collected recyclables from fans between innings.  He and Jennifer got to see the game for free and, thanks to a Major League Baseball environmental program, participating local nonprofits scored donations. 

On the environmental front, thousands of plastic bottles and other recyclables were diverted from the stadium’s waste stream.

As someone who grew up in a minor league city, my baseball spark was ignited when I moved to Cleveland in 1989. That was the same year the Charlie Sheen comedy Major League hit theaters, reinforcing a legend of unfulfilled greatness that plagued the team for decades.

In 1997, I moved to Chicago and was befriended an elderly Cubs fan who gave my wife and I his night game tickets because he considered it a travesty that Wrigley Field had installed lights.

While never really quite grasping the possibility that either the Indians or Cubs could become world champions, I have enjoyed baseball from a business perspective in recent years.  The Major League Baseball Players Trust, a charitable foundation that is the first of its kind, uses 3BL Media year-round to share stories of athletes helping the needy in the communities where they grew up, played and currently reside.

Earlier this month, I was thrilled to see Kenny Lofton pop up in my Twitter feed.  The six-time All Star and Gold Glove Award winner was a base stealing demon when I lived in Cleveland.  Now, he’s busy visiting elementary schools in Gary, Indiana, to support World Sight Day, and chairing a walk to end Alzheimer’s disease, which afflicted his grandmother.

Thank you, Gary, for sending along the photo of you and Jennifer, and the story of the volunteer green team that’s sending the right environmental message during the World Series.  Whether Cleveland or Chicago prevails, I’m grateful there is a focus on more than just the game stats.