The opening game of the 2011 Heroes and Legends Tour, scheduled for Tucson's Electric Park on March 12, has been designated as a benefit for victims of the Jan. 8 shooting. Funds raised from the game between former baseball greats and wounded veterans will go to the Christina Green Memorial Fund in memory of the tragedy's youngest fatality, and be earmarked for construction of a park that includes a Little League complex. The future park's mission statement is to become a beacon of hope and remembrance for Tucson, Ariz., and the national community.
The Heroes and Legends Tour is a joint venture of San Antonio-based Hope4Heroes and the MLB Players Alumni Association. The inaugural Heroes vs. Legends game took place last fall in San Antonio, Texas, leading to this year's seven-city tour featuring Hall of Famers Gaylord Perry, Rollie Fingers and Fergie Jenkins along with other notable ex-players. Electric Park is the former Spring Training base of the Arizona Diamondbacks, who next month move into a new Scottsdale complex they will share with the Colorado Rockies. "We feel this is the perfect place to start the tour," said Vic Luebker, Chairman and CEO of Hope4Heroes, a non-profit for veterans and their families. "Changing the giving priority is just the right thing to do in light of the recent tragedy. We hope the game can play a small role in helping Tucson heal." A free MLB Alumni Kids clinic at 11:00 a.m. will kick off game-day activities, which will also include free autograph sessions with the baseball greats.