August 7, 2012 (Milwaukee, WI) - Major League Baseball has made a significant contribution to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum's newest education outreach program, Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig announced today in Milwaukee at Miller Park.
The Hall of Fame's "BASE" Program, which teaches the foundations of healthy living for young athletes, as well as for men and women of all ages, encourages participants to "Be A Superior Example," by signing a national registry to pledge to live and play free of performance-enhancing substances.
"Major League Baseball is proud to support our friends at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum on a program that will help influence young people about the right way to play the game," Selig said. "With first-hand messages from Hall of Famers, the BASE Program will be another component of our comprehensive efforts to impart lessons on healthy lifestyles to our next generation and to raise awareness about the dangers of performance-enhancing substances."
The newest of 17 education outreach programs from the independent, not-for-profit educational organization, based in Cooperstown, New York, BASE will launch nationally on August 11, with a pair of 5k and 10k road races and the debut of an exhibit in Cooperstown, teaching visitors about the four foundations of healthy living - exercise and fitness, diet and nutrition, building character and fair play - through historical explorations of the game's history and through first-hand accounts from Hall of Fame members.
"Major League Baseball has generously pushed the fundraising goals set forth by the Museum for the BASE program across home plate, with a major gift that ensures funding for the first two years of our national program implementation," said Jeff Idelson, President of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. "We are extremely grateful to Commissioner Selig, on behalf of Major League Baseball, for joining nearly 350 individuals, corporations and MLB teams who have collectively donated nearly $450,000 for the launch and implementation of our substantial BASE endeavor."
A national registry encouraging individuals of all ages to complete an online education program and make the pledge to live free of performance-enhancing substances will launch on September 4. The BASE program will be supported by on-site and distance learning outreach initiatives, as well as events that will reach into communities around the country beginning 2013.
The national registry to record individual commitments to live a life free of performance-enhancing substances will reside at baseballhall.org and in an interactive kiosk in the Museum in Cooperstown, which will feature profiles and photos of those who have made the commitment to the lessons of healthy living.
"The BASE program promotes healthy choices, while educating students and adults about the dangers of performance-enhancing substances," said Idelson. "The introduction of this content to the Museum's award-winning educational curriculum is a natural integration into how we educate youth everyday about American culture, with topics ranging from history and character education to math and science, through the lens of baseball. BASE provides a powerful refrain and common foundation for students of all ages that performance-enhancing substances are dangerous, and the only way to live a healthy life is to do so free of these harmful substances."
In addition to the online registry and education lessons from Cooperstown, the BASE program will provide for national exposure opportunities to raise the public awareness on the prevalence of PES use in today's society. Other objectives of the BASE program include: educating audiences about the short- and long-term dangers of PES use; providing guidance for developing healthy lifestyles and injury prevention; empowering students, parents and athletic administrators with the ability to identify potential PES use; and providing strategies to help individuals of all ages make informed decisions about their own health and in influencing the health of others.
The Museum is committed to working with the Taylor Hooton Foundation and the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society (PBATS) as partners in content delivery and will soon be announcing collaborative programmatic elements beginning this fall.
Among the targets presently identified by the Museum for delivery in the next 18 months include: a national survey to document the use of performance-enhancing substances and the need for increased national education; on-site educational programs in 20 communities nationally; and a national summit in Cooperstown, bringing together youth baseball representatives and education experts in the field of performance-enhancing substances to further address the need for widespread participation and promotion.
Future potential outreach targets, based on funding, include community based webinars, continuing education programs for medical professionals on PES use and effects, and expanded distribution of programmatic materials and elements to influence even greater numbers of individuals to lead a performance-enhancing substance-free lifestyle.
Complete information of the BASE program is available through a comprehensive white paper, featuring detailed data on the use of performance-enhancing substances and the fundraising objectives of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, online at www.baseballhall.org/BASE.