Fans Have Opportunity to Hit Links with Baseball Hall of Famers,
Film and Television Stars, and Legends from Around the Sports World
Registration for Both Tournaments is Available at MLB.com/UrbanYouthAcademy
Soon after the final pitch of the 2013 World Series, two celebrity golf tournaments will be held next month in Los Angeles, California and New Orleans, Louisiana, with registration proceeds going toward supporting each community's respective MLB Urban Youth Academy through the non-profit (501(c)3) Major League Baseball Urban Youth Foundation. MLB Urban Youth Academies are facilities that provide free, year-round baseball and softball instruction to young people from underserved and urban areas. The inaugural Frank Robinson Celebrity Golf Invitational is scheduled for Monday, November 11th at Wilshire Country Club in Los Angeles, and will be hosted by Robinson, the Hall of Famer and MLB Executive Vice President of Baseball Development who oversees all MLB Urban Youth Academies. In New Orleans, the second annual Celebrity Golf Classic will be held on Monday, November 18th at the English Turn Golf & Country Club, and will be hosted by Texas Rangers Manager and New Orleans native Ron Washington. Additional information for both events, including registration details and up to date celebrity attendees, can be found at MLB.com/UrbanYouthAcademy.
Registered participants for the Frank Robinson Celebrity Golf Invitational will have the opportunity to play their rounds with celebrities throughout the sports and entertainment worlds. As of today, Baseball Hall of Famers scheduled to attend include Frank Robinson, Rod Carew, Reggie Jackson and Joe Morgan. Additionally, three-time World Series Champion manager and Special Assistant to the Commissioner Tony La Russa and former MLB All-Stars, including Kenny Lofton, Mike Piazza and Bret Saberhagen, are scheduled to hit the links. Film and television stars, including Anthony Anderson, Kevin Nealon and Richard Schiff, and noteworthy sports figures Bill Russell, Jerry West, James Worthy and Byron Scott are also scheduled to attend. Following the round, an awards banquet and dinner, featuring a live and silent auction, will be held at the club. This event will support the MLB Urban Youth Academy in Compton, which opened in 2006 as the first of what is now a growing network of facilities designed to give young people the opportunity to learn about and play baseball and softball at no cost.
The Celebrity Golf Classic in New Orleans will feature Ron Washington, Cincinnati Reds outfielder Xavier Paul, Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Wesley Wright, Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Edwin Jackson, member of the 1969 World Series Champion New York Mets Ron Swoboda and more. Additional names will be announced at a later date. The event will support the New Orleans MLB Urban Youth Academy, which opened in November 2012 at the site of the Hurricane Katrina-damaged Wesley Barrow Stadium. The facility currently serves more than 1,000 young people and features a professional-sized artificial turf baseball field, as well as tee ball and softball fields, batting cages and an indoor practice facility, among many other features. The New Orleans MLB Urban Youth Academy operates in partnership with the New Orleans Recreation Development Commission on a dynamic youth program that provides baseball and softball instruction as well as education and baseball vocational programming.
"We are thrilled and appreciative of the support we continue to receive for our network of MLB Urban Youth Academies," said Frank Robinson, MLB Executive Vice President of Baseball Development. "These golf events, which are going to be wonderful experiences for fans, will raise money that is key to continuing our efforts to provide opportunities for young people who desperately need them."
The MLB Urban Youth Academy in Compton, on which all subsequent Academies are modeled, has served more than 10,000 young men and women in Southern California. More than 350 Academy student-athletes have gone on to participate in collegiate baseball and softball programs, and more than 200 Academy alumni have been selected in the MLB Player Draft, including 14 in the 2013 draft. Three alumni have been picked in the first-round, including 2013 selections Dominic Smith (#11 overall pick by the New York Mets) and J.P. Crawford (#16 overall by the Philadelphia Phillies), and also 2008 first-round pick Aaron Hicks (#14 overall by the Minnesota Twins). Two MLB Urban Youth Academy graduates appeared on Major League rosters during the 2013 Regular Season (Hicks, Twins; Anthony Gose, Toronto Blue Jays).
Additionally, all MLB Urban Youth Academies provide educational programming, such as SAT/ACT preparation and tutoring. Each Academy's goal is to graduate 100 percent of the youth it serves. MLB Urban Youth Academies also operate baseball vocational programming, offering its participants and members of the local community the opportunity to attend free seminars on umpiring, athletic field management, scouting and player development, sports and broadcast journalism, public relations and statistics, as well as athletic sports training.
There are now three operational Academies in Compton, New Orleans and Houston, Texas. Ground has been broken on additional facilities in Cincinnati, Ohio and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and a future Academy has been announced for Hialeah, Florida. Each MLB Urban Youth Academy is similarly built with multiple fields, batting cages, pitching tunnels and indoor facilities (for both baseball/softball and educational activities).
Major League Baseball is committed to increasing diversity throughout professional baseball through its various community and multicultural programs, including Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI), the creation of the On-Field Diversity Task Force, the MLB Diverse Business Partners program and the annual Civil Rights Game. With these programs and the growing network of MLB Urban Youth Academies, MLB has continued to pledge resources to bring America's pastime to young people in urban communities.