(Busch Stadium) Since he arrived in St. Louis, Cardinals outfielder Jose Martinez has been doing his best to raise awareness about the political and socioeconomic crisis in his home country of Venezuela. His concern for those in need of food, medical care, and general safety has been a constant as he’s continued to take to the field and play baseball.
Now the St. Louis Cardinals have joined the effort with Jose and are offering specially priced $10 tickets for the upcoming series against Milwaukee. For each special ticket purchased, 75% will be donated to Martinez’ efforts to assist those in Venezuela.
“It means a lot,” said Martinez. “Not even just the Cardinals, there’s a lot of people who walk up on the street or in a restaurant and say they feel very sorry about the situation. I just try my best to be consistent in the field. I made a lot of friends here who have tried to help me out. The people in St. Louis, Cardinals organization, and my teammates–we appreciate everything you’re going to do to help with Venezuela.”
The Cardinals have partnered with a four-star Charity Navigator organization who has served more than 100 million people in more than 110 countries throughout the world to distribute aid items on the ground in Venezuela.
“Whatever people can actually give or donate is going to be welcome,” said Martinez. “One dollar is 100% going to be a big help. I look forward to just going out there and making a lot of people smile.”
As he has done after each of the last two seasons, Martinez will again return home to Venezuela.
“I’m going, 100%,” he said. “My whole family is there, my two kids are there. In Venezuela, if you do dumb stuff, 100% something is going to happen to you. If you stay safe and don’t go to places you don’t have to be, I think you’re going to be okay.”
Still, he described the overall situation in his country as dangerous.
“When you see people just going on the street or trying to get food,” said Martinez. “People being in line for like 10-12 hours and then when they get to the front, it’s over and that means they have to come back and start over again the next day. It’s a lot of stuff, but the first thing is the kids. That’s the most important thing that I’m doing this….my main thing is kids need it the most.”
photo credit: Brian Stull/STLBaseballWeekly.com