Spring 2021 Magazine

Garth Brooks joins pitchers Adam Wainwright, Kyle Gibson to serve 4 million meals to kids

When the MLB season was put on hold indefinitely due to the coronavirus pandemic, surely Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright and Rangers pitcher Kyle Gibson were bummed. When they learned that schools across the country were closing their doors to students due to the same pandemic, they were moved to action.

And they called on one of country music’s biggest stars for help.

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Through Big League Impact — which Wainwright founded and Gibson is a major part of — Wainwright and Gibson teamed up with Garth Brooks and his Teammates for Kids foundation to launch the Home Plate Project. Together this spring, they have delivered 4 million meals to children across the country who were out of school and at risk of going hungry because they relied on breakfast and lunch at their schools.

“Being able to be a part of something that had that much impact on that grand of a scale is really special, and hopefully something that next year we can shoot for that goal and maybe get past it even,” Gibson told Infield Chatter.

In all, more than 50 baseball players chipped in to raise nearly to $1 million that went to buy meals. Other players involved include Justin Verlander, Clayton Kershaw, Albert Pujols, Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt.

Wainwright’s and Gibson’s hearts to serve others stems from their faith in Christ. Both men are spiritual leaders within their teams who base their lives on Biblical principles.

“As Christians we’re called to be the light,” Wainwright said in a recent video chat with Fellowship of Christian Athletes. “As believers, when we let Jesus completely infiltrate our body and the Holy Spirit just takes over, we become that light for the world to see. What they’re actually seeing is not us. They’re actually seeing Jesus.”

“Everybody is an evangelist, and has a duty for evangelism,” Gibson said last summer in a video for The Increase.

When baseball resumes, Wainwright will pitch his 15th season for the St. Louis Cardinals and Gibson will begin his first season with the Texas Rangers after seven with the Minnesota Twins. They’ll both continue doing and spreading good.

“I think that we sometimes get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of life and work, and maybe this will teach us to slow down a little bit in the rest of our lives,” Wainwright told Infield Chatter, “and enjoy the things that really matter.”

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