Mike Napoli is using his growing popularity in Cleveland to do some good.
The South Florida native – who starred at Flanagan High School in Pembroke Pines before breaking into the majors at 24 with the Angels – is matching all monies raised on t-shirts bearing the phrase ‘Party at Napoli’s’ to benefit the Cleveland Clinic children’s hospital in northeast Ohio.
“I’m excited about it,’’ said Napoli, now 34, to Fox Sports Ohio/Sports Time last month. “Anytime I can do something to give back it makes me happy.’’
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The versatile Napoli signed a one-year deal with the Indians for $7 million back in January and has since become a fan favorite for not only his play but his outgoing personality.
Napoli’s biggest moment this season may have been a home run that bounced off the scoreboard at Cleveland’s Progressive Field.
Statcast measured the shot at 460 feet, leaving his bat at 107 mph.
“I don't know how you hit a ball that far,” manager Terry Francona told the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Going into Thursday, Napoli is hitting .249 with 22 home runs (he had 18 all of last season with Boston and Texas) and 67 RBI. Napoli helped the Indians to a franchise-record 14-game winning streak earlier this month and a spot atop the AL Central.
Napoli’s shirts cost $32, with 108 Stitches – the company selling the shirts online -- tweeting Thursday that $40,000 has already been raised.
Napoli will continue matching the monies raised by the sale of the shirts through Monday.