2017 Nominee – Christian Yelich
Team: Miami Marlins
The Miami Marlins are committed to creating memorable experiences for active and retired members of the Military. We have a number of players that have made it a priority to be involved with the military. Christian Yelich has a player program called Sluggers for Soldiers where he brings out a total of 35 people (veterans and their families) to meet him at Batting Practice. He also purchased t-shirts, tickets and food vouchers as well as distributes Marlins military coins to the group. His passion for the military comes from his brother who is currently serving overseas as a marine.
Christian is also involved in our Kickin’ it with the Fish kickball league. Every Thursday Marlins employees play kickball with veterans that are suffering from PTSD. It is a way to integrate them back to society in a non-competitive and enjoyable setting. Christian has attended games as well as been part of the on-field ceremonies to honor all of the veterans.
Christian has also participated in numerous on-field check presentations for the Wounded Warrior Project and Special Operations Warrior Foundation (SOWF). He was a weekly participant in Mike Dunn’s player program with SOWF over the last couple of seasons. Even though Mike is no longer with the organization, Brad Ziegler has taken on the program and Christian makes it a point to visit with the group when they arrive.
Every year for Memorial Day the Marlins invite Pros vs Joes out for a video game experience at Marlins Park. We have anywhere from 20-25 veterans come to play Call of Duty against Marlins players. Christian has participated every year and will do so again on May 29th.