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Gateway to Midsummer Classic taking shape

All-Star-themed arches installed in St. Louis

The Gateway Arch in St. Louis is one of the country's most recognizable landmarks, and it's also the inspiration for a unique venture that will honor the upcoming 80th All-Star Game and raise money for charity.

Major League Baseball Properties, in conjunction with the city of St. Louis, the St. Louis Cardinals and the St. Louis Sports Commission, has completed the installation of 15 10-foot-tall All-Star-themed arches at a variety of landmarks in the St. Louis area.

The arches will later be sold to benefit the Sports Commission's Charitable Sports Foundation, which was established in 1994 to enrich the lives of area children through sports. Its signature initiative focuses on promoting and encouraging sportsmanship, particularly at the youth level.

In addition, miniature collectible versions of the arches are now available for purchase through www.mlb.com, the Cardinals team store at Busch Stadium and at select retailers in the St. Louis area.

Major League Baseball has dedicated the 2009 All-Star summer to raising funds and awareness for charitable initiatives and celebrating the importance of community service. The charity and community service initiatives, themed "Going Beyond," are the most extensive in Major League Baseball All-Star history and will complement the celebration of history and traditions of baseball and the St. Louis Cardinals in celebration of the Midsummer Classic, which will be played Tuesday, July 14, at Busch Stadium.

"The Gateway Arch in St. Louis is such an iconic national landmark that we realized right from the start that there could be no better symbol for our All-Star summer," said Howard Smith, MLB's senior vice president of licensing. "The Arches on Parade are a fun way for fans to get in the All-Star spirit, and we hope the miniature arches will be a memorable keepsake for everyone."

Added Cardinals president Bill DeWitt III, "The Arches on Parade help create the feeling around town that something big is happening in St. Louis. I want to thank Major League Baseball for creating another fun, free way for fans to enjoy the All-Star summer in St. Louis and the St. Louis Sports Commission for their support of events and charitable programs that make a difference in our community."

There are six versions of the 2009 All-Star Arches on Parade, including an American League-themed arch, a National League-themed arch, a Cardinals-themed arch, a vintage St. Louis baseball-themed arch, a Cardinals world championship-themed arch and an All-Star-themed arch.

The 2009 All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, with pregame ceremonies beginning at 8 p.m. ET.

Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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{"content":["all-star_game" ] }