WANNA PLAY?: Prior to the game, more than 400 young baseball and softball players from Think Detroit Pal RBI, Orchard Children’s Services RBI and Detroit-area Boys & Girls Clubs, along with players from the three 2012 RBI World Series championship teams (Baseball Junior, Senior and Softball divisions), will take part in a “Wanna Play?” event and skills clinic. Hall of Famer and Executive Vice President of Baseball Development at MLB Frank Robinson, who heads MLB’s Urban Youth Academies, will attend the event. Major League Baseball currently operates Urban Youth Academies in Compton, California; Houston, Texas; and Gurabo, Puerto Rico, and two other Academies have been announced for Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Hialeah, Florida. Additionally, MLB Network Studio Analyst Sean Casey, member of the 2006 Detroit Tigers American League Championship team and FOX Analyst Craig Monroe and member of the 1984 Detroit Tigers World Series team Barbaro Garbey will speak to the young ballplayers. “Wanna Play?” is a multi-faceted initiative dedicated to youth fitness, encouraging boys and girls, ages 6 to 12, to increase their overall fitness and nutrition education through physical activity, while learning fundamental skills of baseball and softball through fun and engaging activities.
PRE-GAME, ON-FIELD CEREMONY: Major League Baseball will recognize one of the Grand Prize winners of the 2012 Breaking Barriers: In Sports, In Life essay contest as well as players from the three 2012 RBI World Series championship teams (Dominican Republic RBI – Junior Baseball, Jackie Robinson RBI – Senior Baseball and Dominican Republic RBI – Softball). In April of this year, Peter Hanhan, a ninth grade student from Valrico, Florida was selected as a Grand Prize winner of the Breaking Barriers essay contest. Peter, whose essay recounts the courage it required to cope with being forcefully uprooted from his home in the West Bank, will be joined by Sharon Robinson, daughter of Jackie Robinson and MLB Educational Programming Consultant.
FIRST BALL DELIVERY FROM BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS OF AMERICA: Boys & Girls Clubs 2012-2013 National Youth of the Year Trei Dudley, 18, will deliver the first ball for Game Three. Dudley is a freshman at the University of Arkansas who has been dedicated to improving her community. Through her local Boys & Girls Club, Dudley has served as a positive example for younger Club members by volunteering at area soup kitchens and homeless shelters. She plans to use her Youth of the Year platform to empower other youth from similar backgrounds.
PERFORMANCES: “New Girl” star Zooey Deschanel will perform the National Anthem prior to Game Three. For her lead role as Jess on the FOX hit show, Deschanel recently was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. Earlier this summer, she won the Critics’ Choice Television Award for Best Actress in a Comedy Series. Last season, she was nominated for a Golden Globe Award (Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Comedy or Musical). “New Girl” airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. EST/PST on FOX. Staff Sergeant Amy Gould, who is a United States Army Vocalist of the 126 Army Band, will also perform God Bless America.
ABOUT REVIVING BASEBALL IN INNER CITIES (RBI): The RBI program, which is in its 24th year of operation, is an MLB youth initiative designed to give young people from underserved and urban communities the opportunity to play baseball and softball, encourage academic achievement and success, and teach the value of teamwork and other important life lessons. In 2012, the RBI program served more than 200,000 boys and girls in more than 300 programs established in more than 200 cities worldwide. For more information, please visit MLB.com/RBI.
ABOUT BREAKING BARRIERS: IN SPORTS, IN LIFE: The Breaking Barriers: In Sports, In Life Essay Contest, which recognizes students for their efforts to overcome personal barriers using the values exemplified by Baseball Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson, is a significant component of the Breaking Barriers program. Using baseball-themed activities, the program, developed by Major League Baseball, Sharon Robinson, and Scholastic, is designed to provide students of diverse backgrounds in grades four through nine with strategies to deal with barriers and challenges in their lives, while at the same time conveying the significance of Robinson breaking Baseball’s color barrier in 1947.
ABOUT BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS of AMERICA: For more than 100 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America has enabled young people most in need to achieve great futures as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Today, nearly 4,000 Boys & Girls Clubs serve some 4 million children and teens through Club membership and community outreach. Clubs are located in cities, towns, public housing and on Native American lands throughout the country, and serve military families in BGCA-affiliated Youth Centers on U.S. military installations worldwide. Clubs provide a safe place, caring adult mentors, fun and friendship, and high-impact youth development programs on a daily basis during critical non-school hours. Priority programs emphasize academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. Learn more at bgca.org/facebook and bgca.org/twitter.