Kole Calhoun, Los Angeles Angels
Matt Carpenter, St. Louis Cardinals
Dee Gordon, Seattle Mariners
Brock Holt, Boston Red Sox
Ian Kennedy, Kansas City Royals
Stephen Piscotty, Oakland Athletics
Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants
Jameson Taillon, Pittsburgh Pirates
Edinson Volquez, Texas Rangers
MLB Debut: May 22, 2012
Batting Average: .252
Home Runs: 107
Through success or slump, Kole Calhoun has proved to be a driven individual both on and off the field. His consistently competitive nature and positive demeanor motivates his fellow teammates, and he is a leader and role model for young players on the team. In 2016, Kole won the MLBPAA Angels Heart and Hustle Award. Kole has had quite a few other on-field achievements, including winning the 2015 Gold Glove Award and ranking third in franchise history for home runs as a right fielder. He is one of three Angeles’ all-time right fielders with four seasons of 20 doubles and 15 home runs.
MLB Debut: June 4, 2011
Batting Average: .274
Home Runs: 133
Matt Carpenter had some struggles during the first part of the 2018 season, but his bat came to life during the second half of the season and created the “It’s gotta be the salsa” movement in St. Louis. This movement produced a special shirt with proceeds benefiting a cause close to his heart — SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital. Matt has been the official chairman of the hospital’s Homers for Health since 2017. Funds raised through the program have supported programs at the hospital and have helped create child-friendly spaces in the intensive care unit. Matt continues to support Cardinals Care initiatives, including the annual Winter Warm-Up and he supports his teammate’s charitable initiatives.
MLB Debut: June 6, 2011
Batting Average: .289
Home Runs: 15
Dee Gordon is a two-time All-Star, three-time Stolen Bases leader, Silver Slugger, Hits leader, and Gold Glove Award winner. Yet, his efforts off the field and in the community are even more impressive. Dee created his Flash of Hope program in 2015 while in Miami to support kids and families who have been affected by domestic violence. When he was 6, Dee lost his own mother to domestic abuse. Her memory not only has helped motivate him to accomplish his dreams, but also has inspired his passion to support families dealing with domestic violence and help children who have lost a parent. In 2018, Dee brought his Flash of Hope program to Seattle and partnered with the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence, LifeWire, New Beginnings, and API Chaya to host families for a day at the ballpark. In addition to his work with Flash of Hope and Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Dee has partnered with Food for the Hungry, the Striking Out Poverty campaign, Boy & Girls Clubs, Seattle Children’s, Make-A-Wish Foundation, and Mariners Care.
MLB Debut: September 1, 2012
Batting Average: .267
Home Runs: 20
Brock Holt has been a fixture in the Boston community since his arrival to the team in 2013. After his first visit to the Jimmy Fund, which supports Boston’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, he became a passionate champion of the cause. For the last three years he has served as co-captain of the Jimmy Fund, acting as an advocate and ambassador. He spends time visiting patients both at the clinic and at Fenway Park. Recently during the Annual Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon fundraiser, Brock went above and beyond welcoming patients to the park. While this season has been difficult for Brock on the field as he has battled a concussion and other injuries, he has remained an integral member of the Red Sox team.
MLB Debut: September 1, 2007
Ian Kennedy joined the Royals in 2016 and has been a strong supporter of Kansas City community activities. Since 2017, at every Saturday home game, Ian and his wife, Allison, have hosted different military-affiliated community groups in a suite to enjoy the game, early batting practice, and a catered meal, along with gifts and a special welcome from Ian. In addition to hosting service members and families at games, the Kennedys have supported Royals Charities and other organizations, including the Kansas City Surviving Spouse and Family Endowment Fund, Johnson County Christmas Bureau holiday shop, and the City Union Mission homeless shelter. Ian has overcome adversity by battling several injuries over his career, including surgery to correct an aneurysm under his right armpit, strained hamstrings, and oblique issues.
MLB Debut: July 21, 2015
Batting Average: .268
Home Runs: 65
Stephen Piscotty’s journey through adversity began in 2017 when his mother, Gretchen, was diagnosed with ALS while Stephen was with the St. Louis Cardinals. Shouldering the responsibilities of a Major League Baseball player and of a son to a mother with a progressive neurodegenerative disease 2,000 miles away, Stephen had the worst season of his playing career. Following an offseason trade to play for his hometown Oakland A’s, Stephen moved home to live with his parents and two younger brothers. Six months after the trade, on May 6, 2018, Gretchen passed away with Stephen and the entire Piscotty family by her side. As the A’s left for an East Coast road trip, Stephen stayed home for three days to mourn the loss of his mother with his family and closest friends. When he rejoined the club in Boston, he hit a home run over the Green Monster in his first at-bat, sparking a four-plus-month run that culminated in the best season of his career. Stephen, who received the 2018 BBWAA Bill Rigney Good Guy Award and 2018 Tony Conigliaro Award, overcame personal tragedy to help propel the Athletics to their first postseason appearance since 2014.
MLB Debut: September 11, 2009
Batting Average: .306
Home Runs: 133
Throughout his 10 years playing for the San Francisco Giants, Buster Posey has established himself not only as a premier catcher in Major League Baseball, but also as an ambassador for the game. Off the field, Buster has focused his philanthropic efforts on supporting pediatric cancer awareness and research through the establishment of The Buster & Kristen Posey Fund in April 2016. In just over three years, the Poseys have raised more than $3 million for the Posey Family Research Grant and Fellowship Programs. The Poseys also continue to partner with the Giants and Major League Baseball during the annual Pediatric Cancer Awareness Day at Oracle Park. The five-time All-Star, four-time Silver Slugger, Gold Glover, and three-time World Series Champion has made his mark on baseball with his performance and leadership on the field, but his dedication to his community truly defines the person he is both on and off the field.
MLB Debut: June 8, 2016
Jameson Taillon is no stranger when it comes to being involved with Pirates Charities and the community. From the time he was drafted into the Pirates organization, Jameson has been the first to volunteer to help in the community. Jameson holds those affected by cancer close to his heart. On May 8, 2017, he was treated for suspected testicular cancer, which was later confirmed through testing. Five weeks to the day after his surgery, Taillon returned to the mound, pitched five scoreless innings and earned his third win of the season. After his return, Jameson has focused on raising awareness for the disease, speaking heavily with the media, and working with #KCancer, a cancer-awareness campaign sponsored by The Jimmy Fund. In November 2016, Jameson participated in an event to help support Homemade Hope, a Houston-based charity that raises funds for homeless children with nutritional needs.
MLB Debut: August 30, 2005
Edinson Volquez was born in Barahona, Dominican Republic, and broke into the big leagues in 2005 at the age of 22 with the Texas Rangers. He spent his career moving among several different teams, including pitching for the Kansas City Royals in Games 1 and 5 of the 2015 World Series. In Game 1 of the Series, Edinson was notified during the sixth inning that his father had passed away. Edinson and his family returned to the Dominican Republic for funeral services, but they returned to the states in time for Edinson to pitch in Game 5 of the Series. Edinson wrote his father’s initials in the dirt of the mound and on the inside of his hat to honor him. In 2016, he became a free agent and signed with the Miami Marlins. After a second “Tommy John” ligament replacement surgery on his right elbow in August 2017, Edinson was released by the Miami Marlins, ultimately signing a minor league contract with the Texas Rangers for the 2018 season. After spending the season recovering, he was added to the Major League roster for 2019 and is on track to return from his recovery.