PHOENIX – Paul Goldschmidt spends much of his time trying to avoid strikes, but in a few weeks the Arizona Diamondbacks star first baseman will try to collect as many as possible.
Goldschmidt, alongside his wife, Amy, will kick off his 2018 baseball season with his second annual Goldy’s Bowling Bash — an event put on by his charity, Goldy 4 Kids, where all proceeds will benefit Phoenix Children’s Hospital.
But the event signifies more than just a donation. For Goldschmidt, it’s a way to give back to a city that’s already given him so much.
“The fans here are unbelievable,” Goldschmidt said. “The local support that everyone’s shown me and the Diamondbacks has been amazing. It really showed up last year in our first time doing the event. All of our sponsors were local companies and all of the people that came out lived here in the Valley.”
His inaugural event in 2017 raised more than $186,000 for the hospital, where both Paul and Amy are regular volunteers. All proceeds from last year’s event went toward the hospital’s new outpatient cancer center. This year, Goldschmidt hopes to carry that success to support other child life programs.
“You see the kids get excited and the smiles on their face,” he said. “A lot of these kids are in a lot of pain when we go into the rooms, so to see their faces bright, their family bright and be able to make their day is very gratifying.”
This year’s event is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 22, at Lucky Strike in Phoenix, one day after the Diamondbacks’ first unofficial spring training game against Arizona State. Last year’s attendees included athletes from all over the Valley, including teammates Archie Bradley, David Peralta and Robbie Ray. Diamondbacks manager Tony Lovullo and former Phoenix Suns guard Leandro Barbosa also participated in the event.
“It means so much to Phoenix Children’s Hospital and our patients and family here,” said Bonnie Morgan, a representative of the hospital. “To know that America’s First Baseman and his wonderful wife, Amy, are such big supporters and are there for us is wonderful.
“Paul and Amy have been so involved at the hospital and so focused on our patients and families,” Morgan added. “Knowing that they’re out in the community talking about the hospital, bringing awareness and showing how much they care and how much passion they have for the hospital and patients is amazing.”
It’s no surprise that a city that dubbed Goldschmidt “America’s First Baseman” would rally the type of support that the event receives. Arizonans have embraced Goldschmidt since his rookie debut in 2011, and when asked if he wanted to spend the entirety of his career with the Diamondbacks, there was no hesitation.
“I’d be very happy with that,” he said with a smile. “You never know what the future holds in this game. Some of it’s out of your control. I don’t really look too far. Whatever happens, happens.”
Goldschmidt reflected on his time in Phoenix, saying “it’s home now” and the only place he’s known besides where he grew up, outside of Houston.
“Growing up, I had a lot of people that helped me, whether it was in my baseball career, or in school raising me,” he said. “Now I can hopefully be a role model to others and help out my neighbors and the people around me.”
“I love it here,” he said. “It’s the only organization I know.”