MIAMI — Andrew Mendez stood behind Miami Marlins All-Star Giancarlo Stanton as the slugger anxiously sat on a stool next to the home dugout Tuesday afternoon at Marlins Park.
Mendez proceeded to grab a bucket of ice water and pour it over Stanton’s head, all in the name of charity. It’s not the most conventional way to meet a favorite player, but it’s for a good cause.
As the winning bidder of the Ice Bucket Challenge, Mendez donated $4,551 to the ALS Recovery Fund. He also got the chance to visit the Marlins Clubhouse, received four batting practice passes and four Diamond Club tickets and had a photo-op with Stanton.
"Get to meet me and hang out here," Stanton said. "Helping a good cause. Kill two birds with one stone. I’m glad I could be a part of this. I like it. When I thought about it it gives something a little different than a video and help contribute and be part of it."
Stanton will also match that figure for the ALS Recovery Fund, a non-profit organization built on volunteers that creates public awareness, promotes research and education and raises funds for patient care and research in order to find a cure for Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
According to Adam Silverman, president of the ALS Recovery Fund, it has donated millions of dollars to date. It has aided the University of Miami’s School of Medicine, helping to build a clinic and research facility.
"If you could follow Giancarlo Stanton’s lead and take the Ice Bucket Challenge and when you’re done drying off perhaps you can make a donation and support us locally right here in our backyard," Silverman said.
As for Mendez, who religiously watches the club, it was the perfect way to visit the ballpark and meet the National League leader in homers and RBI. Mendez has been to at least 10 games this season and even plays hooky from work — on occasion — to attend day games.
"It was for a good cause and a great way to meet Stanton, too," Mendez said. "I’ve been a fan of his for awhile already and overall the Marlins, too. You couldn’t pass this opportunity up. At the end of the day it’s for a good cause. I can always say I dumped a bucket of ice water on Stanton."