Mookie Betts, one of baseball’s biggest stars, found himself in an interesting position this October. After his Red Sox won Game 2 of the World Series, he was getting more attention for something off the field.
Only a few hours after the victory, people around the city spotted Betts, along with family and friends, delivering food to Boston’s homeless outside the city’s public library. It would have gone mostly unnoticed, like the other times Betts helped feed the homeless community in Massachusetts’ frigid weather, if not for a local radio host who tweeted about Betts’ good deed.
Betts didn’t seek out any publicity for his act of service, saying it wasn’t supposed to attract the attention it did, but since the right fielder and his family were leaving Boston for Los Angeles the next day, he realized their leftover food could not go to waste.
“His dad [and he] are both very kind-hearted, so [Betts’ father] said ‘we have a lot of food left, and the right thing to do would be to give it to somebody that doesn’t have it,” Betts’ mother told Jen McCaffrey of The Athletic. Reportedly delivering the food past 1 a.m., the family’s contribution was far from a convenient gesture to make themselves feel good, as they stayed out late the day before traveling across the country to make sure people in need benefited from their extra food.
Betts clarified that this was not the first time he had made impromptu food deliveries to benefit the homeless of Boston, just the first time it had received this level of attention. Of course, the budding philanthropist had received accolades for other charitable work before.
Betts, also an excellent bowler, brought together his baseball teammates and professionals from the Professional Bowlers Association to participate in a charity match in August 2017. The event raised $150,000 for Pitching In for Kids, a non-profit that raises funds for New England youth sports programs, and One Mission, a pediatric cancer charity. Betts also co-designed two hats blending bowling and the Red Sox, with proceeds given to both foundations.
Whether his charitable acts were planned in advance or just because he realized someone else could benefit from what he had, Betts and his commitment to helping those in need provide an excellent example for the Boston community and beyond.