Prior to Saturday’s game at Marlins Park, right-hander Sandy Alcantara made the trip to Hialeah for an unconventional 24th birthday celebration. Through the GMM (“Giving Much More”) Foundation, Alcantara hosted a charity softball tournament at Bucky Dent Park with proceeds benefitting La Liga Luisa Blanca in his native Dominican Republic.
Participants in the tournament were asked to donate at least one piece of baseball equipment, such as bats, gloves, cleats and catcher’s gear.
Happy Birthday to @Marlins All Star @sandyalcantar15 who spent the morning in Hialeah collecting baseball equipment for underprivileged kids in his hometown in the Dominican Republic. Tremendous effort.— Craig Mish (@CraigMish) September 7, 2019
Partnering with @GMMfoundation pic.twitter.com/8daZR0kUWG
As much as Alcantara wanted this to be a selfless event, Billy the Marlin and the attendees made sure to acknowledge his special day with the singing of “Happy Birthday.”
Back in May, Alcantara was at Rotary Park in Hollywood for another equipment fundraising drive.
He explained on the Swings and Mishes podcast that these philanthropic efforts began two years ago, even before he was an established major leaguer. He had observed how many youth players in the D.R. lacked fundamental baseball equipment, and saw the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of those who helped him address the same issue growing up.
The one constant in the Marlins rotation in 2019, Alcantara leads the team in starts (27) and innings pitched (162 2⁄3) to go along with a 4.26 ERA, 4.75 FIP and 1.36 WHIP. He’s in the midst of an excruciating winless streak (spanning his last 12 starts), but he’s been performing particularly well since the beginning of August.
He is scheduled to face the Royals in Sunday’s series finale.