October 19, 2011 – Major League Baseball will dedicate Games One through Four of the 2011 World Series to important community causes, highlighting year-long MLB partners and initiatives including veterans and their families with Welcome Back Veterans during Game One, community service with the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet during Game Two, youth in underserved communities with Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities(RBI) and Boys & Girls Clubs of America during Game Three and advancing the fight against cancer with Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) during Game Four.
“We are proud to once again dedicate the 2011 Fall Classic to several extraordinary causes,” said Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig. “As a social institution with important social responsibilities, Major League Baseball is privileged to have the opportunity to raise awareness for these essential issues and highlight the efforts of the heroes throughout our society. We are thrilled to use the global reach of the World Series to support these outstanding initiatives.”
Game One – Veterans and Military Families: Welcome Back Veterans
First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden will attend Game One of the 2011 World Series as part of Major League Baseball’s Welcome Back Veterans program (www.WelcomeBackVeterans.org) and the First Lady’s Joining Forces initiative(www.JoiningForces.gov). Prior to Game One, Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden will join representatives from Major League Baseball and the St. Louis Cardinals including Hall of Famer and Army veteran Red Schoendienst at the St. Louis VA Medical Center for a military family appreciation event.
Additionally, there will be a special pre-game ceremony featuring Mrs. Obama, Dr. Biden, veterans and military families and a new Joining Forces and MLB Public Service Announcement (PSA) will premiere at the ballpark featuring Mrs. Obama as well as New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira and Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Johnny Damon, both of whom come from military families.
Welcome Back Veterans (www.WelcomeBackVeterans.org) has awarded more than $11 million in grants to non-profit agencies targeting veterans’ and their families’ greatest needs, focusing on treatment and research of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and
traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Game Two -Community Service: Roberto Clemente Legacy
The winner of the 2011 Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet will be announced and recognized on-field prior to Game Two. Bestowed annually, the award recognizes the Major League Baseball player who best represents the game of baseball through positive contributions on and off the field. The Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet is named for the 12-time All-Star and Baseball Hall of Famer who died in a plane crash on New Year’s Eve 1972 while attempting to deliver relief supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua, and pays tribute to Clemente’s achievements and character by recognizing current players who truly understand the value of helping others.
MLB Goodwill Ambassador Vera Clemente, wife of the late Roberto Clemente, will join Players, Legends and MLB Executives at the Loyola Academy of St. Louis to speak to the young students about Roberto’s legacy and his dedication to giving back to others. They also will spend time with some of the young patients at the St. Louis Children’s Hospital and will present them with a Starlight Fun Center mobile entertainment unit, featuring a Nintendo Wii™, DVD player and flat-screen TV.
Game Three – Youth: Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities /Boys amp; Girls Clubs of America
Game Three will be dedicated to youth in underserved communities through MLB’s Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) program and the League’s partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America. Local young people from both programs will attend a “Wanna Play?” event and clinic at the Youth Field at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on the day of Game Three. “Wanna Play?” is a multi-faceted initiative dedicated to youth fitness, encouraging boys and girls ages 6 to 12 to increase their overall fitness and nutrition education through physical activity while learning the fundamental skills of baseball and softball through fun and engaging activities. Hundreds of children from local RBI programs and Boys & Girls Clubs will be participating in the event and clinic.
During an on-field presentation prior to Game Three, representatives of the 2011 RBI World Series championship teams (Softball Division, Junior Baseball Division and Senior Baseball Division) will be recognized. The RBI World Series is the international baseball and softball championship tournament of the RBI program, which is the Major League Baseball youth initiative designed to provide underserved youth with the opportunity to play baseball and softball, encourage academic success and teach the value of teamwork.
Additionally, Major League Baseball will recognize Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s President Roxanne Spillett and National Youth of the Year Nicholas Foley from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and the Breaking Barriers: In Sports, In Life Grand Prize Essay Winner Meggie Zahneis from West Chester Township, Ohio. In Game Three and throughout all of the 2011 World Series, a youth from a local Boys & Girls Club will deliver the game ball to the mound.
Game Four – Cancer Research: Stand Up To Cancer
Game Four of the 2011 World Series will highlight Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C), as MLB will promote the importance of advancing the fight against cancer. In 2008, Major League Baseball became the founding donor to Stand Up To Cancer, which focuses on getting innovative therapies to patients faster. In support of Stand Up To Cancer, Major League Baseball will dedicate an in-game moment to the cause by asking fans to stand in unison in honor of someone they know affected by cancer.
Prior to the game, MLB, SU2C and representatives from the Texas Rangers will spend time with some of the young patients at the Medical Center of Arlington and will present them with a Starlight Fun Center mobile entertainment unit.
Since its launch, Stand Up To Cancer has grown significantly with support from players, fans and all 30 MLB Clubs. Major League Baseball has donated more than $30 million to the groundbreaking research organization since its inception.
Other Community Initiatives
Major League Baseball and TEAM Coalition have supported the designated driver programs at all MLB ballparks during the 2011 championship season with a special incentive: fans who registered as a designated driver were entered into a drawing to be the Club’s official “Designated Driver.” The “Designated Drivers” from the St. Louis Cardinals and Texas Rangers will each receive two tickets and will be honored during Games One and Three, respectively. A record-setting 450,000 fans registered as “Designated Drivers” during the 2011 championship season.
Major League Baseball and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) will incorporate a wide variety of environmentally-sensitive efforts that include: “MLB Green Teams” during all World Series games collecting refuse for recycling and supplementing existing recycling programs; raising public awareness to educate fans about how to become more environmentally sensitive via online materials and PSAs; prioritizing bio-based products and recycled content materials at events throughout the World Series; and addressing energy usage through efficiency measures and by investing in renewable energy offsets.
Visit MLBCommunity.org for more information on each of these programs and all of MLB’s community initiatives.
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Matt Bourne or Steve Arocho
Major League Baseball