Dugout Mugs is proud to announce that Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez and the Fundación Posada de Moisés are our second Cheers to Charity recipient for the month of June. The foundation helps poverty-stricken youth in his wife Patricia’s native Colombia.
An avid advocate and supporter of Dugout Mugs, for Founder and President Randall Thompson and CEO/Partner Kris Dehnert working with Pudge, was a natural fit.
"Arguably one of the best catchers to ever play the game, he has garnered an international following and a ton of respect," said Dehnert. "What's awesome is that he is taking that platform and using it for good. How can you not get behind somebody like that?"
Rodriguez, a 14x All-Star, World Series Champion, and member of the Hall of Fame realizes the importance of giving back to those underserved areas in South America and the Caribbean as well.
“As you know Colombia has a lot of areas that are poor,” he said. “The whole foundation is about picking up those kids, that their parents left them. We bring them into this beautiful piece of property that we have and we give them food and we give them love which is the most important thing.”
In the past, Pudge and his wife have hosted a coffee event in Colombia as well as the Posada de Moisés golf event in Medellin which they began four years. The event saw nearly three dozen of his former teammates and friends from Puerto Rico attend and raise money for young kids.
“Unfortunately, we haven't been able to do the event for the last year and a half because of the pandemic, but the good news is that this December we are going to do the event in the Dominican Republic, and not only are we going to help the Posada De Moises but also the Cap Cana Foundation.”
However, the giving doesn’t stop there. In March, Rodriguez is headed to his native Puerto Rico to host the same event and raise money for his charity on the island. For Pudge, it’s not the first time he’s been involved back at home.
“I’ve been doing so many things for Puerto Rico all the way back to Hurricane Maria and also helping local people on the island,” he added. “I’ve been involved in a lot of activities helping raise money for kids and I love this.”
In addition to our initial donation of $1000, we are taking a considerable amount of every sale purchased through DugoutMugs.com/Pudge including our Pudge Rodriguez Signature Series, and giving it straight to the foundation.
“At Dugout Mugs, we were given such an amazing platform,' Dehnert noted. "Randall and I had this great conversation that we’re very blessed , so why not turn around and try to do some cool fun stuff. We get to hangout and talk with great people, but at the end of the day, we are putting cleats on kids, we are putting kids into sports who may not have had that opportunity."
For Pudge Rodriguez, it's the same sense of paying it forward.
"We have all been blessed," he added. "We’ve all gone through things in life and we’ve learned from those. Now, we’re in the position to help others and that is basically what I am doing. I’m really happy and my heart is just beeping so hard because this is just a great thing to do."
Aside from being our Cheers to Charity recipient, Pudge has also signed dozens of baseball cards for us to give out to our Dugout Mugs community.
"One of the things I love the most is that he shares a passion for his fans and following, just like we do," Dehnert said. "For him to take time to autograph over a hundred items for us to just give away speaks volumes about who he is."
Our #CheersToCharity initiative has helped numerous foundations and organizations in our baseball community including the David Ortiz Children’s Fund, Mariano Rivera Foundation, Lance McCullers Jr. Foundation, Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, Eddie Guardado Foundation, the HelpCure HD Foundation, We Fam United and many others.
If you know any heroes of the baseball world, let us know so we can continue to celebrate & serve them through our Cheers to Charity initiative!