CHICAGO – White Sox catcher Yasmani Grandal has been an All-Star behind the plate, but he is also rising above off the field. 

Grandal is teaming up with the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation to provide the men and women on the job with life-saving vests. 

“Listening to a lot of their stories, not too many of them have ended up badly, so thank God for that,” Grandal said.

The 34-year-old native of Cuba is behind the 2023 Yasmani Grandal Experience Raffle with a chance to win one of three things: an autographed baseball, a signed jersey, or a batting practice experience with No. 24 himself.

“It was mind-blowing to me that they had such a foundation that took such care of our police department,” Grandal said.

Chicago officers receive a vest once they graduate from the police academy. Still, Phil Cline, the executive director of the CPD Memorial Foundation, reminds locals that manufacturers recommend bulletproof vests be replaced every five years. The main reasoning, Cline says, is wear and tear.

The vests run about $500, but Cline says cops often delay getting a new vest because of life’s occurrences.

“Fifteen years, 20 years, I’d say, ‘Why didn’t you get a new one?’ Well, ‘my kids needed braces’ or ‘We need brakes for the car.'”

CPMF board member Tony Marino, who operates a family-run Chicago dealership, and Grandal have grown to be good friends. He says he went all in on the cause when he learned of Grandal’s involvement.

“Right off the bat, there were synergies,” Marino said. “So first responders, police officers, they need their vests to work perfectly when they go out in the field, and so does Yas, because if his vest isn’t working, if the fibers are worn, he’s in trouble.”

As a catcher, Grandal is also an investor in Force 3, a line of catcher gear that makes him and others safer behind the plate. One of the main ingredients in Force 3’s chest protector is Kevlar, also used in police vests. 

“It made sense for me,” he said.

So advancing the vest cause with CPMF, Grandal says, is a perfect fit.

“I am honored to be a part of it,” he said.

CPMF has raised $5 million and provided 12,000 vests to CPD officers in the last seven years.