Machado trades bat for bowling ball at charity event
All-Star raises funds for Baltimore City Recreation, Parks' Play Baseball with tourney
BALTIMORE -- Manny Machado is used to throwing strikes across the diamond from the hot corner to first base for the Orioles. But on Thursday, the All-Star third baseman tried his hand at tossing a different kind of strike, as he spent his day off at Mustang Alley in Little Italy hosting the BaseBowl celebrity bowling tournament.
In conjunction with the Baltimore City Foundation, Machado held the first charity event of his young career with all proceeds going to Baltimore City Recreation and the Parks' Play Baseball summer program for 9- to 12-year-old children.
"I went to a couple charity events this past offseason and it came to mind that, 'Why don't I do that?'" Machado said.
Machado was joined by several Orioles teammates -- including Nelson Cruz, Steve Pearce and Brad Brach -- and coaches to serve as the "celebrities" for the event, and each was paired with a team for two games. There was also a silent auction and a dinner accompanying the tournament.
"It's awesome helping out teammates, their foundations, their charities," Pearce said. "It goes beyond the clubhouse. We're a close group and we all get along real well."
With Machado enduring the stress of his suspension hearing just a day earlier, Thursday was a welcomed escape for the third baseman, allowing him to take his mind off the appeal process and focus on aiding the community.
"It's been a hard 24 hours, but it's an off-day today, it's a beautiful day," Machado said. "I'm just trying to bowl a little bit, just take this off-day and enjoy it."
Machado joked that he was hoping to just crack triple digits, while Pearce came to play armed with his own bowling bag. The self-proclaimed ringer from the clubhouse, who played in some bowling leagues during his time in the Minors, said he was the first one to sign up for the event.
Still, the primary reason Pearce made the appearance was for the charity and to help his teammate.
"It's a huge day for him and for all the players to show up, it shows that we support Manny and everything that he does and we've got his back," Pearce said. "This is one way that we're going to show it and we want to be here for him."
David Wilson is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.