MLB, all 30 clubs to raise autism awareness during 2016 season

Major League Baseball and all 30 MLB Clubs will conduct a league-wide effort during the 2016 Championship Season to raise awareness for the millions of people living with autism. The initiative will include all clubs selecting one home game during the season to support the cause, and is again linked with Autism Speaks, the world's leading autism science and advocacy organization. MLB Autism Awareness begins in April, which is Autism Awareness Month.

"Major League Baseball is proud to join all 30 clubs, our fans and Autism Speaks in supporting people and families affected by autism. Our clubs have been outstanding advocates for the cause, and we thank them for their commitment to this initiative and effort to provide families with a wonderful ballpark experience," said Tom Brasuell, Vice President of Community Affairs, Major League Baseball.

"Major League Baseball has been a tremendous partner of Autism Speaks in raising autism awareness and meeting the needs of fans on the spectrum at many ballparks," said Peter Morton, vice president of corporate development at Autism Speaks. "We are grateful for the support provided by all 30 MLB Clubs each year."  

Many of the MLB Autism Awareness games throughout the league will provide special opportunities and a safe, friendly environment for families and individuals affected by autism, allowing them to experience a game like never before. Additionally, a part of the ticket sales proceeds from select games will go toward Autism Speaks' efforts to increase awareness, fund innovative autism research, provide adult and family services, and advocate for the needs of people with autism and their families.

Many clubs will work with Autism Speaks or other autism awareness organizations to recognize local families during pregame ceremonies. Additionally in select ballparks, members of the autism community can enjoy the game from designated "Quiet Zones" with a sensory-friendly environment. Some clubs also will provide opportunities to participate in various traditional baseball activities, including throwing out the first pitch, singing the National Anthem, announcing "Play Ball!," singing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" and performing "God Bless America."

During the 2015 Championship Season, more than 30 Autism Awareness events took place in MLB ballparks, resulting in thousands of dollars from game ticket sales that went toward efforts by Autism Speaks to improve the lives of individuals with autism and their families.

For more information about MLB Autism Awareness and to check on respective Club dates commemorating the initiative, please visit MLBCommunity.org.

About Autism Speaks

Autism Speaks is the world's leading autism science and advocacy organization. It is dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism; increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. Autism Speaks was founded in February 2005 by Suzanne and Bob Wright, the grandparents of a child with autism. Since its inception, Autism Speaks has committed more than $570 million to research and developing innovative resources for families. Each year Walk Now for Autism Speaks events are held in more than 100 cities across North America. On the global front, Autism Speaks has established partnerships and related activities in more than 70 countries on five continents to foster international research, services and awareness. To learn more about Autism Speaks, please visit AutismSpeaks.org.