I’ve been trying to figure out how to write about the tragedy that took place in West Virginia yesterday that deeply affected the baseball world. In case you’d missed it, the family of 24-year-old Rays pitching prospect Blake Bivens, including his wife Emily, 1-year-old son Cullen and mother-in-law, were murdered yesterday. The suspect, Emily’s brother, was taken into custody.
This isn’t a baseball news site. Well, it is, but only in a very specific sense. If you wanted the latest reports about this triple homicide, all the major news sites are covering it. But details are very sketchy at the moment, so the means, motive and mental health of the suspect are all unknown at the moment. Like a lot of you, I was thinking about my family last night and trying to think about how I could possibly cope if they were to vanish. Blake Bivens is living about the worst nightmare imaginable, and my prayers and condolences go out to him and all of the friends and family of the deceased. But maybe we can help.
The minor leagues are infamous for the poor pay scale of its players. Athletes like Bivens, a 4th Round draft pick out of high school, give the best years of their lives to follow a dream, with nothing but a paycheck that barely lets them get by and the promise of big paydays if they reach the major leagues. If they have families, the wives and children have to make major sacrifices as well. It’s a difficult way of life, with no guarantee that it will ever pay off with a million-dollar contract.
There’s a group called OurBaseballLife.com that is dedicated to providing resources for baseball families. They have set up a GoFundMe under the Emily Bivens Family Fund. All funds will go directly to Blake Bivens to help with the expenses he never dreamed he would have to face. If you are able to give a donation, regardless of size, it would be much appreciated, I’m sure.
If nothing else, the organization has made a request. There is a viral video going around of the alleged murder, nude, evading police. Instead of sharing that video, please share this link: https://www.gofundme.com/f/emily-bivens-family-fund.