Indians announce 2012 Marine Week festivities

CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Indians are excited to join the City of Cleveland in welcoming the United States Marine Corps for the 2012 Marine Week June 11-17. More than 20 Marines participated in the pageantry of a sold out Indians Opening Day in April, and Progressive Field will again host nearly 300 Marines during the June 15-17 weekend. 

The Cleveland Indians begin the Marine Week collaboration on Thursday, June 14 with a volunteerism event at the Central Recreation Center. Fans can celebrate Marine Week at the ballpark during the June 15-17 Indians vs. Pirates Series, presented by KeyBank with festivities inside and outside the ballpark. An all-Marine Rock Band will perform pregame on June 15 at Indians Rally Alley, presented by RTA ? an urban street festival filled with music and discounted food and beverage options. 

The in-game weekend pageantry includes Marine Color Guards, Quantico Marine Corps Band performances, ceremonial first pitches by Sgt. Major Michael Barrett, Sgt. Major Michael Burke and Jeffery Safko, Jr. (son of GySgt. Jeffery Safko (Retired)), and Marine Corps flyovers. In addition, there will be a 50-person Marine poolee swear-in.

The Cleveland Indians will light up the sky during a spectacular fireworks show themed to Marine celebration on Friday, June 15, presented by KeyBank. Fans attending the weekend festivities will receive great promotions and giveaways such as Sugardale Dollar Dog Night (June 16), Carlos Santana Replica Jersey, presented by Sugardale to the first 15,000 fans (June 17), and KeyBank Kids Fun Day (June 17) .

HONORED MARINE CORPS

  • Michael Barrett was born and raised in Niagara Falls, N.Y. He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1981. Throughout his 31 years of service, Sergeant Major Barrett has been assigned numerous duties to include: grenadier, platoon sergeant, infantry instructor, drill instructor, scout sniper instructor, and company gunnery sergeant at the Presidential Retreat, Camp David. No stranger to the Rock and Roll Capital, Sergeant Major Barrett served as the Recruiting Station Sergeant Major at Recruiting Station Cleveland from 2002 until 2005. He's also served as the sergeant major of Officer Candidates School, I Marine Expeditionary Force Forward and NATO Regional Command Southwest. Sergeant Major Barrett was deployed during the Gulf War, completed two deployments to Iraqi, and a 12-month tour in Afghanistan. Last June, he assumed his current post as the 17th Sergeant Major of the United States Marine Corps. 
  • Sergeant Major Michael Burke has served more than 20 years in the United States Marine Corps. Since joining the Corps, Sergeant Major Michael Burke has spent roughly 15 of his 20 years on deployment. He has served two years in the Persian Gulf with the Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team Company Bahrain. In addition, he served two combat tours in Iraq with 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marines. A native of Hawaii, Sergeant Major recently moved to Ohio and serves as the Sergeant Major, Inspector & Instructor, 3rd Battalion, 25th Marines in Brook Park, OH.
  • Jeffery Safko was born and raised in Parma, Ohio and a graduate of Parma Senior High School. He served 15 years in United States Marine Corps, and medically retired in 2007 as Gunnery Sergeant. While serving in the Corps, Gunny Safko was stationed at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. primarily working law enforcement and counter-intelligence. Gunny Safko is the father of three sons, twelve year old Jeffrey, eight year old Jason and six year old Jack. On June 17, his oldest son Jeffrey will join him on the pitcher’s mound to throw the first pitch. Jeffrey attends Willets Middle School and is a pitcher for Premier Baseball.

CLEVELAND INDIANS MARINE WEEK ACTIVITIES

Thursday, June 14: Indians in the Community 8:00AM-3:00PM

Members of the Cleveland Indians front office will volunteer alongside members of the Marine Corps to clean, paint, and perform general maintenance and landscaping at Central Recreation Center (2526 Central Ave. Cleveland, OH).

Friday, June 15: Indians vs. Pirates @ 7:05PM, presented by KeyBank 

5:00PM:  Fans can enjoy the excitement of the FREE Indians Rally Alley, presented by RTA on Eagle Avenue. 

  • 10-person Marine Rock Band performing on Gateway Plaza pregame
  • 45-person Quantico Marine Corps Band performing “America the Beautiful” on-field pregame and “God Bless America” during the 7th Inning Stretch
  • 50-participant poolee swear-in during pregame ceremonies
  • Ceremonial first pitch by Sgt. Major Michael Barrett of the Marine Corps
  • Five-person Marine Corps Color Guard
  • Marine Corps Flyover
  • Post-game Fireworks, presented by KeyBank themed to Marine celebration

Saturday, June 16: Indians vs. Pirates @ 4:05PM, presented by KeyBank

2:00PM:  Fans can enjoy the excitement of the FREE Indians Rally Alley, presented by RTA on Eagle Avenue. 

  • 40-person Marine Corps Silent Drill Patrol performing on-field pregame
  • Ceremonial first pitch by Sgt. Major Michael Burke
  • Five-person Marine Corps Color Guard
  • Marine Corps Flyover
  • Sugardale Dollar Dog Night

Sunday, June 17: Indians vs. Pirates @ 1:05PM, presented by KeyBank

  • 40-person Marine Corps Silent Drill Patrol performing on-field pregame
  • Ceremonial first pitch by Jeffrey Safko, Jr. (Son of GySgt Jeffery Safko (Retired))
  • Five-person Junior Marine Color Guard
  • Marine Corps Flyover
  • Carlos Santana Replica Jersey, presented by Sugardale to the first 15,000 fans