How Chicago White Sox starter Lucas Giolito is helping the environment, one pitch at a time – The Denver Post

Last Updated on June 14, 2023 by Admin



The Chicago White Sox saw environmental concerns firsthand last week in New York.

The city was under a haze because of smoke carried down from wildfires burning in Canada.

“Insane, it was like orange outside,” starter Lucas Giolito told the Tribune on Friday.

The team’s scheduled game on Wednesday against the Yankees at Yankee Stadium was postponed because of what Major League Baseball called “clearly hazardous air quality.”

“It’s that warning, that reminder that ‘Hey, don’t take this for granted,’” Giolito said. “‘We keep going the way we’re going, we continue to piss Earth off, we’re going to feel the consequences.’ We felt those in New York. I pitched the first night (Tuesday). We could all tell it was tough and the next day we couldn’t even get a game in.

“Earth’s trying to remind us, ‘Hey, why don’t we take care a little bit better.’”

Giolito is doing his part to help.

He and fellow Sox starter Dylan Cease joined the Play For Trees Program in 2022 — a partnership between the global reforestation nonprofit One Tree Planted and Players for the Planet, which according to its website focuses on “positive change for our environment” — to help athletes make an impact by tying performance statistics to trees planted.

They wedged planting trees with strikeouts last season, each supporting the work of reforestation through One Tree Planted.

Chris Dickerson, the Players for the Planet co-founder, presented Giolito with the “Golden Shovel Award” during an on-field ceremony before Friday’s game against the Miami Marlins at Guaranteed Rate Field for his commitment to planting more than 30,000 trees — the most by an athlete in the program in 2022.

“He’s been such a huge piece of the new generation and the athletes that continue to come on and want to get involved,” Dickerson told the Tribune on Friday.

“The thing about Lucas, it’s putting his money where his mouth is. Walking the walk while talking the talk. Lucas has been the pinnacle of that in 2022.”

Dickerson said Giolito’s commitment of more than 30,000 trees planted in Northern California roughly represents an area three times the size of Guaranteed Rate Field.

Giolito and the Sox were in California on Tuesday, beginning a three-game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium.

Giolito said the honor “means a lot.”

“I lived in Northern California for a few offseasons over the last few years, I was out there when pretty much all NorCal was on fire, it was devastating for communities, especially devastating for wildlife population,” Giolito said. “To be able to kind of do my part with my platform, raising awareness, raising money, especially with the One Tree Planted, I love what they do.

“Being able to support them through Players for the Planet has been an amazing opportunity. I’m looking forward to doing more in the future, hopefully have a few Golden Shovels under my belt by the time I’m done playing.”

Through the partnership, Giolito has aided in bringing trees back to areas that need them.

“Trees are a huge part of life,” Giolito said. “They’re big parts of habitats, big parts of bringing oxygen and other things to the environment, stabilizing the environment. Planting trees is one of the simplest things you can do, but also one of the most impactful.

“(One Tree Planted) does a wonderful job organizing, providing different options, different areas of need. We take it from there, go out, try to get some strikeouts and keep planting them.”

Last offseason, Giolito participated in a beach cleanup project in the Dominican Republic with Players for the Planet. The group collected about two tons of marooned debris — nearly 3,000 pounds of which was plastic — during cleanups totaling almost three hours, first at Playa Montesinos and then Fuerte San Gil.

His involvement in environmental causes isn’t new. Giolito did some charity work for the environmental nonprofit Heal the Bay while in middle school in Southern California

“I’m going to continue to use my platform and the platform of Players for the Planet to spread that message of, ‘Do that little bit more to be more conscious of the waste we’re producing,’” Giolito said. “‘Be more conscious of how it could be affecting the environment, how it could be affecting our Earth.’

“Spreading that message, take one second and think, ‘Hey what’s one little thing I can maybe change to do my part to help a little bit.’ It starts there and then it can grow from there. If everybody does one little thing, it all adds up.”



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