Mark Buehrle and Derrek Lee are lending their names to a winemaker that will give a portion of the proceeds to the players' favorite charities -- no-kill animal shelters for Buehrle and Lee's 1st Touch Foundation, focused on helping disadvantaged youth and those battling eye diseases in his native Sacramento.
Charity Wines approached both Buehrle and Lee for their involvement in a unique program. The end result was the brand names CaberLee and Buehrlot, word plays on varietals Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
They are California appellation, retailing for about $13 a bottle. Both brands are available online at www.charitywines.com.
While folks are enjoying their spirits, their pleasure will help save the lives of pets who do not deserve to be euthanized or abandoned.
Buehrlot's sales proceeds will benefit Hope Rescues animal shelter in Alton, Ill., not far from Buehrle's offseason home in St. Charles, Mo. Supporting animal shelters has been a longtime passion for the lefty and his wife, Jamie.
"Me and my wife are big on non-kill animal shelters, and we took in a little shelter back home that we donated money to and fixed it up," Buehrle said. "Jamie wanted to donate some time in the offseason, helping clean up cages and take the dogs for walks. I told my wife, 'Let's find someplace close so we can go over there in the offseason and help out.' We found one in downtown St. Louis, a smaller one, and donated toys and treats. Then we found the Hope shelter in Alton.
"A lot of people can't afford bills and houses, and obviously the first thing that's going to go is their pets. We're trying to do everything we can to help these shelters, the non-kill places that will take them in and keep them. We hope they can take in everything they can."
Meanwhile, Lee has been busy with starting up a new philanthropic effort. When then-4-year-old daughter Jada suffered impaired vision in one eye and was diagnosed with Lebers Congential Amaurosis (LCA), which afflicts some 3,000 people in the U.S., Lee turned his 1st Touch Foundation's efforts to fundraising for LCA research.
The star Cub's high profile raised money and awareness for LCA. Eventually, Jada's vision problems were found to be not associated with the disease, but Lee will still be active in fundraising. The publicity drew attention to 1st Touch, which runs events and awards scholarships to needy youths in Sacramento.
Now CaberLee will be added to the effort.
"It's a good idea," Lee said. "Hopefully, it does well. It's just something different. A lot of people drink wine. If you're a Cubs fan or a White Sox fan, maybe you'll pick up one of one of those wines. It's going to a good cause."
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.