Yanks celebrating ‘PLAY BALL WEEKEND’

The Yankees are celebrating the inaugural ‘PLAY BALL WEEKEND,’ a league-wide effort by Major League Baseball and all 30 clubs to engage young baseball fans and honor the continued support of youth participation in baseball and softball. The initiative officially this weekend in ballparks around the majors.

Sunday, the Yankees will welcome a group of approximately 1,000 participants from local youth baseball and softball teams (ages 6-14) for a special opportunity to walk in a parade around the warning track prior to the 1:05 p.m. game against the White Sox.

As the Yankees take the field before the first pitch, they will be joined by members of the girls softball team from MS 22, a middle school in the Bronx just blocks away from Yankee Stadium. The girls will participate in a “Field of Dreams” and stand with the Yankees during the national anthem before engaging in an on-field cap exchange. The MS 22 girls softball team is coached by Christopher Astacio, the school’s physical education teacher. Following the national anthem, two children from the Bronx-based Little League Raiders Baseball will throw out ceremonial first pitches.

PLAY BALL WEEKEND is an extension of the PLAY BALL initiative (PlayBall.org), which was launched in 2015 as the sport’s largest effort to encourage widespread participation in both formal and casual baseball and softball activities. Additionally, clubs will collectively distribute more than 320,000 plastic bat & ball sets throughout the United States and Canada, both in ballparks and at community events.

Additionally, major league players, coaches and managers all will wear specially made PLAY BALL t-shirts during batting practice and PLAY BALL patches on their uniforms during the weekend’s games. PLAY BALL is a joint initiative between MLB and USA Baseball. In addition to encouraging
participation in both formal and casual baseball activities, PLAY BALL aims to give kids the opportunity to enjoy the game in a fun environment by highlighting the many ways baseball can be played and providing memorable experiences; introduce young people to the sport who otherwise may not have the chance to experience it; and offer a healthy and active lifestyle options where many of those opportunities are being offered less frequently.

PlayBall.org is the PLAY BALL initiative’s online home and is accessible via MLB.com, USABaseball.com and other partner websites. PlayBall.org features youth-oriented content, including baseball trivia and quizzes, and video highlights from MLB games, social media content, photos and a “Play Ball Near You” interactive map that locates local community leagues.

The site also features access to video podcasts and highlights from MLB Network’s new youth-focused show “Play Ball,” which airs at 10 a.m. Saturday and features interviews and on-field demonstrations with top players throughout the majors.

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