If you are a baseball stats wizard you might know that Philadelphia Phillies closer Brad Lidge pitched 27 saves in 2010. But you probably didn’t know that last year the Phillies saved the environment 3,224 barrels of oil, 174 tons of plastic, and 100,000 trees last year.
The effort is all part of the Phils’ award-winning “Red Goes Green” program, adopted in 2009. The Phils' program involves not only ballpark recycling efforts during game times, but also partnerships with suppliers that value such things as renewable energy, effective use of recycled materials, and using locally produced foods and other product.
While green is catching on again full force in the business world, Red Goes Green is ahead of the curve and makes the 2008 World Champs the innovators of one of Major League Baseball’s premier environmental efforts. So, despite Philly’s celebrated “most unfriendly fans”, the Phillies could also be known as "baseball’s most eco-friendly team".
Back here in Chicago, the Cubs also got into the green game. There are a couple ongoing efforts to promote environmentally friendly activity, such as “Real Fans Recycle”, a Cubs program which has ballpark staff donning shirts woven from 100% recycled material.
To start off April baseball, the Chicago Cubs paid recognition to Earth Day, on April 23 by hosting the “Cubs Green Game”. During that day's game, against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Wrigley Field ran on 100% renewable energy with the help of the Cubs’ energy partner, Constellation.
Not to be outdone, some of the pros themselves have taken on green efforts personally. While the Cubs' clubhouse doesn't have any outspoken green enthusiasts, there are a few greenies elsewhere in Major League Baseball.
The Phillies reliever Ryan Madson is one. Madson, who has been with Philadelphia a few seasons, threw perhaps his greatest career save earlier this year. On Earth Day the player announced that he’s broken ground on his family’s new eco-home in suburban Philadelphia. The Madson family home, somewhere in Chester County, PA will be constructed out of heat-insulating wood, concrete and glass and other locally constructed building materials, and supposed to be completed shortly after baseball season.
Andy Frye writes about sports and life here, and via Twitter at @MySportsComplex.