Baseball

Why Justin Upton’s paint-can homer won’t bring $1 million for charity

A home run launched Tuesday by Los Angeles Angels outfielder Justin Upton is not eligible for a $1 million donation to charity.
A home run launched Tuesday by Los Angeles Angels outfielder Justin Upton is not eligible for a $1 million donation to charity. The Associated Press

Just beyond the left-center field wall at Angel Stadium in Anaheim sits a huge Sherwin-Williams paint can.

The paint company and the Los Angeles Angels have teamed on a promotion: If a player with the home team hits a homer that lands in the 10-foot-tall can which sits 450 feet from home plate, $1 million will be donated to the Angels Baseball Foundation, a charity for local children.

On Tuesday, during a 6-3 loss to the Cleveland Indians, Angels outfielder Justin Upton launched a ninth-inning home run ball that one-hopped its way into the can.

Score one for charity.

Or not.

While Upton’s homer landed in the can, it doesn’t qualify for the donation. Why? It’s explained in a 2014 press release, when the promotional can had the Frazee Paint brand on it.

“To celebrate its new sponsorship of the Angels 2014 baseball season, Frazee is placing a 10-foot-tall paint can in home run territory, and if an Angels player hits a home run that lands in the can on the fly, the company will make a $1 million donation to benefit the Foundation's efforts to improve the lives of children in the community.”

Note the key words: on the fly.

So while Upton’s blast, his career-high 32nd of the season, still counts on the stat sheet, it does not count for charity.

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