Yankees host local Little Leaguers ahead of HOPE Week

Yankees host local Little Leaguers ahead of HOPE Week

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Yankees plan to celebrate HOPE Week for the seventh consecutive year in 2015, and in the spirit of that initiative, they honored Palma Ceia Little League Challenger Baseball with a pregame ceremony on Friday at George M. Steinbrenner Field.

A $10,000 donation was presented to the organization on behalf of the Yankees. Players, parents, coaches and staff from the league were honored on the field and had the opportunity to meet with Yankees players, including Jacoby Ellsbury, Brett Gardner and Alex Rodriguez, during batting practice prior to the game against the Pirates.

Challenger Baseball is organized to provide an essential opportunity for children to develop stronger emotional and social skills, instilling a "can do" attitude in the players. Participation is stressed over competition, and every player gets to bat, field and run the bases.

PCLL games take place at 4501 South Himes Avenue, and children from anywhere in the Tampa area are welcome. For more information, please contact Bobbi Royak at bobbir@pcll.org or (813) 833-5772.

HOPE (Helping Others Persevere & Excel) Week 2015 will take place in New York from Aug. 17 through Aug. 21. The initiative is a unique week-long community program that brings to light five remarkable stories intended to inspire individuals into action in their own communities.

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.