Rangers designated hitter Shin-Soo Choo has chose to donate $1,000 to each of the club's almost 200 minor leaguers, per a report from Naver Sports in Choo's native South Korea (link in Korean).
Choo is entering the final year of a seven-year, $130million deal, and is set to be Texas' highest-paid player this season at $21m.
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Choo's donation stems from wanting to help out minor leaguers like Major League Baseball veterans did for him so many years ago. "I don't want to lose any players over money".
"I've done it before, minor leagues, seven years", said Choo, who was 18 when he left South Korea to join the Seattle Mariners organization before the 2001 season. Colorado Rockies infielder Daniel Murphy gifted $100,000 on Wednesday to a fund operated by More Than Baseball, a nonprofit support group for minor league players.
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Choo also made a $200,000 donation to the city of Daegu, South Korea, which has been hit hard by coronavirus and is about an hour from where his parents still live. "Now a lot of things I have is because of baseball". I want to pay back to other people. Naver Sports did an interview with Eli White, an outfielder in the Rangers' system, who said that Choo donated the money directly to his bank account - he even shared text messages he sent Choo to thank him for his generosity.
Choo replied by telling White "don't worry about money" and assuring the 25-year-old he can come to Choo if he needs "something more".
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"I will never forget the minor leagues", he said in a conference call. While he began sharing his baseball experiences with the younger players, Choo desired to do something more.