Play Ball Weekend at Safeco Field

Mariners & MLB join in league-wide support of youth participation in baseball and softball

The Seattle Mariners are celebrating the inaugural PLAY BALL WEEKEND at Safeco Field May 14-15 as part of Major League Baseball's league-wide effort to engage young baseball fans and celebrate the continued support of youth participation in baseball and softball.

All kids 14 and younger will receive a playground bat and ball set on Sunday when the Mariners meet the Los Angeles Angels (1:10 p.m. first pitch), and since it is also Little League Day, there will be a parade of 8,500 kids in their team uniforms around the warning track pregame.

Members of teams from the Seattle Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) program at the Smilow Rainier Vista Boys & Girls Club, Baseball Beyond Borders, South Highline American Little League and the West Seattle Peaches All-Girls Coach-Pitch team will be on the first and third baselines with Mariners and Angels players during the National Anthem, and two kids will be chosen at random from the Little League parade to present lineup cards with coaches pregame.

Additionally, Major League players, coaches and managers all will wear specially designed PLAY BALL t-shirts during batting practice and PLAY BALL patches on their uniforms during the weekend's games.

PLAY BALL WEEKEND is an extension of MLB's PLAY BALL initiative (PlayBall.org), which launched in 2015 as the sport's largest effort to encourage widespread participation in both formal and casual baseball and softball activities. PLAY BALL WEEKEND also is a symbolic recognition of what MLB Clubs do year-round to support the growth of youth baseball and softball in their respective communities and beyond.

The Mariners participation on PLAY BALL is under the umbrella of the Junior Mariners initiative to connect kids across the Northwest to the game of baseball.

Elements of Junior Mariners include the free Kids Club, a pilot program to increase Little League and Youth Baseball signups, a new Kid's Corner activity area at Safeco Field, and the distribution of 100,000 Junior Mariners Wiffle® Balls to kids across the region this season.

Mariners youth-related programs also include sponsorship of the Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities program that makes baseball and softball available to low-income and at-risk youth free of charge; Pitch, Hit & Run baseball skills competition; partnership with Seattle middle schools to encourage students to join the "Five for Life" fitness program with complimentary tickets to all qualifying participants; 50,000 free tickets to Boys & Girls Clubs and other non-profit organizations; Moose D.R.E.A.M. Team Assemblies that educate students about the importance of the D.R.E.A.M. principles: Drug-free, Respect for yourself and others, Education through reading, Attitude, and Motivation to achieve your dreams; Holland America Line Get Well Tour visits by Mariners players to children's hospitals around the region; Mariners Caravan three-week tour of Washington, Oregon and Idaho that features free autograph sessions and visits to schools and Boys & Girls Clubs with players, broadcasters and the Moose.

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.