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Hunter Pence wore a fan’s ashes in a necklace at Dodger Stadium

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I know two people who had their ashes scattered — or at least some of them scattered — at major league ballparks. It was done on the down low, as most parks won’t let you come in and do that. I’ve talked with several other people who like the idea of it and who have at least considered it. People who choose cremation want their ashes scattered someplace meaningful or beautiful, and ballparks fit that bill for a lot of baseball fans.

A Dodgers fan named Henry Janiszewski wanted his ashes scattered at Dodger Stadium. They weren’t going to let his family do that, though, so the Janiszerskis went to plan B: Hunter Pence.

In a game at Dodger Stadium last month, San Francisco Giants outfielder Hunter Pence carried some ashes of a deceased Dodgers fan with him in a necklace that he wore on the field . . . Pence, a former Houston Astro, donned the necklace for all nine innings on Sept. 22, the night Los Angeles clinched the National League West title and celebrated the 90th birthday of Hall of Famer Tommy Lasorda, L.A.’s former manager. Pence played right field, and the game video shows him checking on the necklace after a sliding catch.

Pence’s act was filmed for a documentary and is part of a movement by some to get ballparks to allow people to spread a small amount of ashes at designated times.

Personally, I’d like my ashes scattered in the New River Gorge, but Dodger Stadium is pretty too I suppose.

 

 

Report: Major League Baseball bans transactions with Mexican League teams

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Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that Major League Baseball has banned all transactions with Liga Mexicana de Beisbol (LMB), popularly known as the Mexican League. As of now, all 30 teams are prohibited from signing players under contract with LMB teams. The ban was issued due to Major League Baseball’s contention that “corruption” and “fraud” run rampant in the player acquisition process.

Passan describes the issues in detail, and they sound pretty compelling. The upshot: LMB clubs — which have full control over their players — are taking advantage of them, taking most if not all of the signing bonuses MLB teams give them after negotiating for their rights. Mexican teams often sign players when they’re 15 years-old so that, once they are old enough for American teams to approach them, they’re in the position to take a usurious cut.

Passan says Major League Baseball is demanding greater transparency from LMB before it’s willing to lift the ban. He also says that the MLBPA is in “lockstep” with Major League Baseball on the matter, which makes sense given that, if MLB’s claims are accurate, players are being exploited here. He also says that if LMB does not change its ways, there is a “Plan B,” though it’s not clear what that is.

There aren’t a ton of Mexican players signed by MLB teams each year, but there are enough to make this a significant issue that is worth watching.