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News

St. Louis Cardinals Gift $100,000 to Water Mission in Honor of Adam Wainwright’s Retirement

To be remembered for your accomplishments is one thing, but to leave a legacy is to impact lives in a way that changes history. St. Louis Cardinals Pitcher Adam Wainwright did just that.  

Throughout his 18-year MLB career with the Cardinals, Adam has been a leader both on and off the field. His choice to intentionally invest in developing others and help people in need has changed countless lives and will continue to live on. In his recent retirement ceremony, the St. Louis Cardinals announced a gift to Water Mission which will bring safe water to 1,500 people in Honduras. This is a continuation of Adam’s heart to bless others. 

Just ask Mauricio Dubón, major league shortstop for the Houston Astros. 

After a recent game between the St. Louis Cardinals and Houston Astros, Mauricio had the opportunity to tell one of his opponents how a choice he made off the field had changed Mauricio’s life.  

Unbeknownst to these two men, this moment had been years in the making.  

Mauricio grew up in Honduras, where conditions were rough due, in part, to the lack of safe water. When he was 15 years old, Mauricio was faced with a choice. He was invited by a group of missionaries to move to the United States and play baseball with the hopes of making it to the major leagues. Through this opportunity, Mauricio began attending a Christian school, accepted Jesus as his savior, and met his wife who is also a Christian. 

Around this same time, St. Louis Cardinals pitchers, Adam Wainwright and Scott Linebrink, formed a friendship around their shared faith and desire to impact the world. They went on a mission trip to Haiti. After this trip, both men felt a calling to do something more to help others and bring safe water to those in need. 

Adam began a foundation called “Big League Impact” with the goal of blessing those in need, and Scott became an advocate for safe water. After retiring from baseball a few years later, Scott joined the Water Mission staff.

Their paths continued in step as Adam and Big League Impact, began supporting safe water projects around the world, naming Water Mission as one of their preferred charities. This led to a trip to Honduras where Adam and Scott met with people affected by the global water crisis. 

“Through Water Mission we did a project in Honduras,” said Adam. “One thing I was not going to do was just write a check and then say, “see you later.” I wanted to go there, experience it, drink the water, meet the people, ask them how [safe water] has changed their lives, and see the results.” 

Shortly after Mauricio was drafted to play major league baseball in 2019, he saw a tweet from Adam about a safe water project Adam had been involved with in Honduras. Mauricio had been aware of the water project Water Mission did near where he grew up and how that had made a difference in the lives of so many people he knew. He was impressed that a successful athlete like Adam was involved with helping others and it piqued something inside of Mauricio. 

Now, a few years later, the choices that each of these men made have come together in a lifechanging way. 

Recently, after a game between the St. Louis Cardinals and Houston Astros, Mauricio approached Adam to express his thanks for Adam’s part in bringing safe water to Honduras. 

“I was so nervous to talk to him just because…he’s Adam Wainwright, future Hall of Famer,” said Mauricio. “But I wanted to talk to him about the water project he helped with in Honduras and personally tell him thank you because, you know, it’s pretty special.” 

The encounter was very meaningful and inspirational to Adam. After an unsuccessful outing and a tough loss for the Cardinals, Adam was feeling down. However, after his interaction with Mauricio, he felt a renewed sense of purpose and perspective. 

“I walked back [into the clubhouse] and I thought, you know what? This is all for something,” shared Adam. “It’s not just the outs we’re getting on the field….I think if I’m just faithful to our Lord, and His commandments, and I’m loving on people around me, then I’m building up others. I’m trying to build up His kingdom in a positive way all the time, and that might just be all He has me here for.” 

Mauricio’s heartfelt gratitude and his passion to pay it forward is the fruit of the friendship between Scott and Adam that God had orchestrated so many years before. 

“I think what [Adam] did was wake something inside of me,” continued Mauricio. “So, I started serving more and more for my community. I’m trying to help out as much as I can back home with the name that God has given me.” 

More than a decade in the making, this story shows how God is at work behind the scenes to change lives through our obedience to Him.  

Similarly, Adam’s relationship with St. Louis Cardinals teammate, Luke Weaver, has left a legacy of generosity and mentorship. 

In an interview with stlsportspage.com, Luke shared, “I saw in Adam someone who had an impact on the field and in his community. I knew early on he was somebody I wanted to learn from.” 

Luke went on to say, “I was able to go on mission trips with him to Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Adam encouraged me to see it with my own eyes, and when you do that, it changes you in a way that sticks with you. It continues to push me and make an impact.” 

“I love how this story brings the element of compassion out of a competitive environment,” said Scott. “These guys have battled each other on the baseball field, but they are aligned in their faith and desire to serve others. I love how Adam’s generosity—not just in the financial giving, but also giving of his time to go and see the work—has had an impact on Mauricio and how he has been inspired by this act of generosity.” 

To continue this legacy, the St. Louis Cardinals are honoring Adam by funding a new project in Honduras that will bring safe water to 1,500 more people. 

Thanks to the support of partners like Adam Wainwright, Water Mission has completed countless projects in Honduras to date with more on the way.  Since 2001, Water Mission has served more than 8 million people in 60 countries around the world building safe water, sanitation, and hygiene solutions in developing countries and disaster areas. 

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