With the World Series over, Chicago Cubs fans are proudly wearing gear that celebrates their championship win. Usually, leagues print out championship gear for both teams in order to get merchandise out to retailers by the time a champion is crowned. The winning team’s gear gets sold, while the losing team’s gear gets sent back and donated to humanitarian groups like World Vision and Good360.
This year, however, MLB has decided not to donate the Indians’ championship gear. Instead, the league will destroy it. According to the Huffington Post, MLB decided not to donate the unsold gear because of logistics:
“In past years we have used World Vision, but we have moved our policy to destroying the merchandise,” MLB’s Matt Bourne told HuffPost. “The reason is to protect the team from inaccurate merchandise being available or visible in the general marketplace.”
Speaking with ESPN, World Vision’s Jim Fischerkeller said that the company was “fine” with MLB’s decision:
Jim Fischerkeller, director of corporate engagement for World Vision, told ESPN that the organization was not notified by baseball of the decision but is fine with the call "as long as it had nothing to do with leakage of product by our organization in the past."
Fischerkeller said he did not know of any incidents in which MLB provided gear to World Vision and those items found their way into hands in North America.
It remains to be seen if MLB will continue destroying championship gear for future postseasons, or if other sports leagues will follow suit.