by Steven Ertelt
September 5, 2007
Kansas City, MO (LifeNews.com) — Baseball players come and go in today’s era of free agency and multi-million dollar contracts. But Mike Sweeney has been Mr. Kansas City for years on the Royals baseball club and he may soon receive a prestigious award for his charitable work, which includes helping crisis pregnancy centers.
Mike and Shara Sweeney has long been involved in helping residents in the Midwestern city, but it’s his work assisting women considering abortion that has touched his life.
In June, the couple hosted the Lunch for Life and raised $60,000 for local pregnancy centers who help women with problem pregnancies.
During the dinner, according to an MLB.com write-up, Sweeney met 19-year-old Virginia Hansen who became pregnant and considered an abortion.
"Part of her family turned on her, part of her friends turned on her and the father of her baby turned on her," Sweeney said.
Instead of going to the Planned Parenthood abortion center, where she had an appointment, she drove to a home for unwed mothers.
"She went there and they talked to her about the reality of what was inside of her," Sweeney said.
Hansen and her baby appeared at the lunch, according to MLB, and she was honored with an award and showered with gifts, including a check to help her purchase a new car.
"She knew nothing about it," Sweeney said. "That is probably one of the greatest things that I have done in my life."
This isn’t the first time Sweeney has been involved in the pro-life effort.
Last year he spoke out against an amendment on the ballot that wound up legalizing all forms of human cloning. He appeared in a commercial opposing the ad.
The Royals organization has nominated Sweeney for the Roberto Clemente Award, given annually to the baseball player who best exemplifies the attitudes of community and sportsmanship that the former Pirates star did.
Clemente died in 1973 as his plane crashed when he was transporting relief supplied to Nicaragua to help poor residents there.
"That is right up there with the All-Star Game," Sweeney told MLB.com about the honor. "The Roberto Clemente Award, you don’t get awarded for that for your numbers on the back of your baseball card, but the work that you do on the city and the impact that you have on other’s lives."
"[The award] has a heartbeat," he said — and an untold number of babies do too because of Sweeney.