Sports Outside the Beltway

Strikeouts for Troops

From the Washington Times-

Generally speaking, all-star games don’t generate the same excitement as regular-season games, despite the presence of the best players in baseball, because they don’t mean anything — well, other than deciding which league gets home-field advantage in the World Series.

All-Star pitcher Zito wanted to change that: “I don’t want this date to pass without recognizing our country’s brave soldiers, sailors, airmen, guardsmen and Marines, who are America’s true all-stars and who represent our country with honor while fighting for our freedom,” he said before the game Tuesday night. So, Zito decided that for every strikeout thrown, he would donate $500 to assist wounded troops at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, the Bethesda Naval Medical Center and other military hospitals in the country.

That was $300 more than Zito and dozens of other players have pledged to donate during regular season games through “Strikeout for Troops.” Since the program’s inception in April 2005, it has raised more than $190,000, much of which has come from players and fans. After Tuesday’s night game, Zito added $5,500 to that total, thanks to the whiffs and curveballs of his fellow players.

Readers can check out the good work players like Zito are doing over at their Web site,, which explains how they can get involved.

For making a strikeout not such a bad thing (for the batters), Zito and the rest of the players at “Strikeout for Troops” are the Nobles of the week.

Barry Zito and the other players involved in this fundraising are true nobles. God bless them and our troops.

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