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MLB, MLBPA to donate $1 million to Sandy relief efforts, Yankees sponsor important blood drive

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Commissioner Bud Selig and MLBPA director Michael Weiner from last November. (Getty)

Free agency is officially underway in the Major League Baseball, but its the league and its player's association that have announced the first and most important use of financial resources we'll hear about all winter.

In a joint statement released on Friday, MLB Commissioner Bud Selig and MLBPA execute director Michael Weiner announced their plans to donate $1 million to the American Red Cross, Feed America and the Salvation Army to assist each outstanding organization in their efforts to provide relief for those displaced and devastated by Superstorm Sandy.

Here is the official statement from Commissioner Bud Selig:

"As our thoughts and prayers remain with all those who have been impacted by this tragedy, it is a privilege for Major League Baseball to support our fans and their communities during this urgent time of need. All of us at Major League Baseball are grateful to our society's leaders, first responders and volunteers, and we hope that our contribution to these humanitarian organizations will assist in the vital relief efforts along the East Coast. This is a time when the resiliency of the great American spirit will prevail."

The statement from Michael Weiner:

"Natural disasters know no boundaries, and this one was a direct hit that affected many in the MLBPA's office personally. On behalf of the MLBPA and its members, we are honored to join with the Commissioner's Office in making this contribution to support the efforts of organizations working around the clock to help provide various forms of relief and assistance to those suffering in the aftermath of the storm, including many of our friends and neighbors in need."

This announcement comes on the heels of the New York Yankees making their own $500,000 donation to relief efforts, as well as announcing their sponsorship of a blood drive to help ensure the city's supply doesn't run short. According to the vice president of the New York Blood Center, Rob Purvis, the city lost an estimated 6,000 units of potential blood donations were lost after the storm forced cancellations of blood drives this week. It's easy to lose track of such critical matters in the midst of a disaster, but the Yankees deserve credit for helping getting involved, spreading the word out and pointing people in the right direction to donate.

"You've got to ask and you've got to let them know where you are," Purvis said. "Our problem this past week has been that with all the cancellations, we've had to reschedule drives and try to find new locations like here at Gotham Hall. It's almost like a MASH unit: You set it up and you tear it down the next day."

Outstanding work by all involved in helping the east coast get back on its collective feet, and I'm sure we'll hear more stories just like it in the coming days.

If you wish to join MLB in their efforts to assist Sandy victims, head over to MLB.com/sandyrelief for details.

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