For the fifth consecutive year, the first four games of the World Series will be dedicated to raising awareness for important causes associated with charitable programs and partners of Major League Baseball, it was announced today.
MLB will highlight support for the military, specifically through the Welcome Back Veterans, initiative, by dedicating Game One of the 2013 World Series to honoring veterans and military families. Game Two will focus on two long-time MLB charitable partners in Boys & Girls Clubs of America, to demonstrate the ongoing effort to enriching the lives of young people, and Habitat for Humanity, to spotlight the organization's efforts to provide safe, decent and affordable housing in partnership with low-income families. Game Two will also recognize the Baseball Tomorrow Fund, a joint initiative of MLB and the Major League Baseball Players Association. Game Three will highlight Baseball's commitment to youth from underserved communities through Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI), the importance of education through the Breaking Barriers program, and celebrate community service through the announcement of the winner of the 2013 Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet. Game Four will look to inspire fans, worldwide, to join MLB and Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) in advancing the fight against cancer. The 109th World Series begins on Wednesday, October 23rd LIVE on FOX.
Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig said: "As a social institution, it is a privilege to use the worldwide platform of the World Series to highlight causes that are essential to Major League Baseball and our fans. The enormous global audience that our Fall Classic attracts gives us a unique opportunity to draw attention to the significant initiatives by MLB and our partners to support our military, help our youth and fight cancer."
Game One - Veterans and Military Families: Welcome Back Veterans
MLB will highlight support for the military, specifically through the Welcome Back Veterans initiative, by dedicating Game One of the 2013 World Series to honoring veterans and military families. There will be a special on-field, pre-game ceremony at the ballpark featuring three Medal of Honor recipients and a visit with veterans at Massachusetts General Hospital. Launched in 2008, Major League Baseball and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation have committed more than $28 million to Welcome Back Veterans (WelcomeBackVeterans.org). To date, a total of $15 million in grants has been awarded to non-profit agencies and hospitals supporting returning Iraq and Afghanistan veterans' and their families' greatest needs, focusing on treatment and research of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI). The Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Home Base Program is supported by Welcome Back Veterans. Additionally, Bank of America, the Official Bank of Major League Baseball, will ask fans in attendance to wave an American flag during God Bless America, before the bottom of the 7th inning, as an expression of thanks to the troops. Bank of America will donate $1 on behalf of each participating fan to Welcome Back Veterans and Wounded Warrior Project in an effort to reach a total donation of $1 million, which will go toward helping service members and veterans succeed here at home.
Game Two - Impacting Lives: Boys & Girls Clubs of America/Habitat for Humanity/Baseball Tomorrow Fund
Game Two will be dedicated to celebrating the work of Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) and Habitat for Humanity, two long-time partners of Major League Baseball. MLB will promote each organization's efforts through local activity in the community, including a youth clinic at a local Boys & Girls Club, and special on-field ceremonies at the ballpark. Prior to the game, there will be a "Wanna Play?" event and clinic. "Wanna Play?" is a multi-faceted initiative, with a fitness curriculum administered by Boys & Girls Clubs of America. Boys & Girls Clubs of America members, including the Military Youth of the Year and the National Youth of the Year, will deliver the first-pitch ball for each game. Through Habitat for Humanity's Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative, MLB and Habitat are helping build or repair one home in each of the four League Championship Series (LCS) cities. Work on the home in the American League host city of Game Two will be highlighted that morning.
Additionally, the Baseball Tomorrow Fund will be recognized during a special pre-game ceremony with Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) presenting the organization with a $2.5 million donation toward the growth of youth baseball and softball. The Baseball Tomorrow Fund (BTF) is a joint initiative between the MLBPA and Major League Baseball designed to promote the growth of youth baseball and softball throughout the world by awarding grants to support field renovation and construction projects, equipment and uniform purchases, coaches training material and other selected program expenses. Since its formation in 1999, BTF has awarded more than 700 grants totaling $24 million to non-profit and tax-exempt organizations in the U.S., Canada, Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe, Africa and Asia, serving more than 330,000 youth.
Game Three - Youth Development & Education: Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities /Breaking Barriers
Game Three will be dedicated to youth development, especially those in underserved communities, through the Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) and Breaking Barriers MLB programs. The RBI program is the MLB youth initiative designed to provide young people from underserved communities the opportunity to play baseball and softball, encourage academic achievement and teach important life lessons and values. Head & Shoulders, the Official Shampoo of Major League Baseball, will present the RBI program with a donation of $141,710, which is the resulting figure from their 2013 MLB "Season of the #Whiff" twitter program. Breaking Barriers: In Sports, In Life is an education and essay writing-based program developed by MLB, Sharon Robinson (MLB Educational Programming Consultant and daughter of Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson), and Scholastic to educate students in grades four through nine about Jackie Robinson. The students learn and write about Jackie's life values and how they can apply them to overcoming obstacles or barriers in their own lives. Youth from both programs will be recognized during pre-game, on-field ceremonies.
Prior to the game, young people from local RBI programs, ages 5 to 13, will attend a "Wanna Play?" event and clinic. Also, Major League Baseball will hold a collegiate and professional scouting showcase for RBI participants, ages 14 to 18, which will be the first time one has been held during the World Series.
The winner of the 2013 Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet will be announced in a press conference and honored on-field before Game Three. The annual Award recognizes a Major League Baseball player who best represents the game of baseball through positive contributions on and off the field, including sportsmanship and community involvement.
Game Four - Advancing the Fight Against Cancer: Stand Up To Cancer
Game Four of the 2013 World Series will highlight Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C). There will be a special moment when fans and players will hold up placards with the names of loved ones affected by the disease. In 2008, Major League Baseball became a founding donor of Stand Up To Cancer, which focuses on getting innovative therapies to patients quickly. Stand Up To Cancer has funded ten research Dream Teams with 500 scientists from more than 100 institutions and more than 3,000 patients have participated in clinical trials facilitated by SU2C. Since its launch, SU2C has received significant support from players, fans and all 30 MLB Clubs. Major League Baseball has committed more than $35 million to the initiative since its inception. MasterCard, the preferred card of Major League Baseball, will present SU2C with a donation of $4 million as part of their Dig In and Do Good program, which launched at the 2013 MLB All-Star Game in New York.
Additional Community Initiatives
In each World Series city, MLB will visit a children's hospital to donate a new Starlight Fun Center mobile entertainment unit containing the latest gaming system that rolls bedside in hospitals to provide distractive entertainment and therapeutic play for pediatric patients. MLB also will be hosting two young fans from the Make-A-Wish Foundation whose wishes were to attend the World Series. Major League Baseball, Anheuser-Busch and TEAM Coalition supported the designated driver programs at MLB ballparks during the 2013 championship season with a special incentive: fans who registered as a designated driver were entered into a drawing to be the Club's official "Designated Driver." The "Designated Drivers" from the American League Champion and the National League Champion will each receive two tickets and will be honored during Game One and Game Three, respectively. Major League Baseball and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) will incorporate a wide variety of environmentally preferable efforts that include: the "World Series Green Team" initiative during all World Series games that includes volunteers collecting refuse for recycling and supplementing existing recycling programs; raising public awareness to educate fans about how to become more environmentally aware via online materials and PSAs; prioritizing recycled content materials at events throughout the World Series; and addressing energy usage through efficiency measures and by investing in renewable energy offsets. Visit MLBCommunity.org for more information on each of these programs and all of MLB's community initiatives.