In this dark, twisted world, it’s such a nice change of pace when I get to write something happy for a change. This time, it’s Cole Hamels, the Rangers pitcher who just donated his lake house and 100-acre property to Camp Barnabas, an organization that serves the disabled and individuals living with chronic illnesses. The Missouri home is worth more than $9 million. Hamels made $23.5 million last season, meaning he just gave away roughly 39% of his salary to Camp Barnabas. It is the largest gift the organization has ever received in their twenty-four years.
Seeing famous people use their wealth and power for good warms my heart like no other. Players like Hamels reaffirm my faith not only in humanity, but in the ability for athletes to set a good example, on and off the field; he proves to me that our placement of these ordinary people on pedestals is not always a mistake.
After the annual “Old Time Game” this summer, I wrote that it is vital for athletes to set an example:
“When you’re put on a pedestal, you have a responsibility. It’s not just about the games, the spotlight, the money, the celebrity; we all have a duty as human beings to make the world a better place, and to fight for what is right and what is important, beyond any game. And athletes have a platform and a voice louder than most to shine their spotlight on things that truly matter…”
Fellow athletes and celebrities, let Cole Hamels be your example. I’m not saying you have to give away your mansions, but this time of year, it’s important to recognize what really matters. At the end of the day, many of us have far more than we need, but there are even more of us who barely have anything. So do something, give something, take the time to make this world a better place any way you can.