Miguel Marte was 30 years old when he died on Tuesday from COVID-19. He was a husband and a father of twins, according to the GoFundMe page arranged to support his widow and children.
That page reached its goal of $5,000 on Friday, after the Oakland A’s shared it on Twitter — Marte had been part of the organization between 2008 and 2012.
Even a diehard A’s fan could be forgiven for their lack of familiarity with Marte, as most of his professional experience was in the Dominican Summer League, and he never advanced beyond short-season Single-A ball in the United States.
Even if Marte never came anywhere close to playing in the majors, the A’s saw fit to tweet in his memory.
“The A’s are mourning the loss of former Athletic minor leaguer Miguel Marte,” the tweet declared.
The A’s offered thoughts and prayers for Marte’s family and friends.
And the A’s, a Major League Baseball team valued at $1.1 billion, chipped in $1,000 on that GoFundMe, which sought to raise $5,000 in all. That topped the previous highest donation to the fundraiser, $500 from Keith Lieppman, who — unless there’s a tremendous coincidence at play — is the A’s director of player development and has been part of the Oakland organization for 47 years.
That’s very generous and nice! Times are tough and nobody knows how long it’s going to be before things get back to normal, or if they’ll remain employed that long. Lieppman’s donation is a thoughtful, commendable gesture.
But it doesn’t quite feel right that Lieppman should have needed to reach into his own pocket.
Again, the A’s franchise is valued at over a billion dollars. The A’s owner, Gap retail scion John Fisher, has a net worth of more than two billion dollars. He managed to give almost a quarter of a million to Kevin McCarthy’s re-election campaign two years ago, not that McCarthy — seen this week being racist about coronavirus — needed any help holding onto his seat by a 30-point margin.
While it’s disappointing that a major league team wouldn’t match a mere $5,000 goal to support the family of a former player in their system, at least they did kick in that thousand to back up their thoughts and prayers — which is a whole lot more than McCarthy has ever done while cashing much bigger checks from the A’s owner.