August 3 - Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball, in conjunction with the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM), today announced that more than 125 cities, covering 34 U.S. States, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico, have signed on as designated PLAY BALL Cities for the inaugural "PLAY BALL Month" of August 2015. The cities are being designated based on the commitment by each city's Mayor to sponsor a baseball or softball-related activity during August. Mayors will report their activities to http://www.usmayors.org/playball. Major League Baseball and the U.S. Conference of Mayors announced their PLAY BALL partnership at USCM's 83rd Annual Meeting in June.
"For decades, baseball has had a unique ability to bring communities together, and today, Major League Baseball is seeking to strengthen that connection between our sport and cities across the country through our new PLAY BALL initiative," said Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. "We are thrilled to begin this new and innovative partnership with Minor League Baseball and the U.S. Conference of Mayors, and I thank all the mayors who have stepped up to support this effort to provide fun experiences for kids and families during PLAY BALL Month."
"The PLAY BALL initiative is baseball in its purest form, building relationships between the game and its future generations," said Pat O'Conner, Minor League Baseball President & CEO. "It is incredibly important for us to encourage participation at the grassroots level and Minor League Baseball fully supports these efforts."
"Mayors are pleased to join Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball in bringing fun baseball and softball activities to our cities," said USCM President Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. "I am proud to have already participated in a PLAY BALL event in my community and look forward to hearing how other mayors across the country celebrate baseball - our Great National Pastime."
During this month, mayors across the country will host activities to engage children, citizens, families and city departments to organize individual and community-based, baseball and softball-related events, such as playing catch, running bases and more. The activities will be focused on strengthening bonds between families, communities and the game.
PlayBall.org serves as the initiative's online home and is accessible via MLB.com, USABaseball.com and other partner websites. Coaching tips and parent resources are prominent components of the site. PlayBall.org also gives parents, coaches and kids information on how to participate in PLAY BALL activities, links to youth-related news and events, and searchable maps to help find local community leagues. Health and safety information, including the Pitch Smart and Play Sun Smart programs, also are available.
"The Conference of Mayors is honored to have joined Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball in helping to inspire a renewed enthusiasm for the game," said USCM CEO and Executive Director Tom Cochran. "We are pleased with the number of mayors who have made commitments to sponsor a Play Ball activity, and look to involving more mayors in the future."
For a list of 2015 PLAY BALL cities so far and details on each city's event, please visit http://www.usmayors.org/playball/registrymonitor.asp