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Mickey Mouse heading to All-Star Game

Mickey Mouse heading to All-Star Game

Mickey Mantle, Mickey Cochrane, Mickey Lolich, Mickey Rivers, Mickey Owen, Mickey Harris, Mickey Morandini, Mickey Tettleton and Mickey Vernon all were All-Stars during their Major League careers.

Now one more can be added: Mickey Mouse is going to the All-Star Game.

Major League Baseball Properties and Disney Consumer Products unveiled on Monday 36 designs of MLB-themed Mickey Mouse collectible statuettes and related apparel and merchandise in celebration of the 2010 MLB All-Star Week festivities taking place July 9-13 in Anaheim as part of a new collaboration between the organizations.

The statuettes, available now at the MLB.com Shop, are replicas of 7 1/2-foot tall statues that will be placed at key Southern California landmarks leading up to the 81st All-Star Game on July 13. Mickey Mouse, who is five years older ("born" in 1928) than the Midsummer Classic, will have a natural star attraction due to the presence of Disneyland in the immediate vicinity of Angel Stadium.

"With the All-Star Game returning to Anaheim, now is the perfect time for these two iconic American brands to team up and celebrate the premier sporting event of the summer," said MLB president and chief operating officer Bob DuPuy. "These Mickey Mouse statuettes will allow fans of all 30 clubs to share in the excitement of All-Star Summer even if they can't make it to Anaheim for the festivities."

"Baseball and Mickey Mouse really connect families, and with the All-Star Game being in our backyard this year, it made perfect sense to combine the magic of Disney with America's favorite pastime," said Stephen Teglas, vice president and general manager of Fashion & Home North America at Disney Consumer Products. "We look forward to delighting fans of both brands with our unique products and collectibles."

The Mickey statues continue a recent All-Star tradition within the host cities. Giant bobbleheads were positioned around key sites in Chicago during the White Sox-hosted festivities in 2003. Houston had cowboy boots in '04. In 2008, "Statues on Parade" featured scaled Statue of Liberty models around New York, ranging from the Cubs version at the New York Stock Exchange to an AL-logoed version on Liberty Island itself. Last year, All-Star Week in St. Louis included widespread placements of replica Arches.

This special line of Mickey commemorative collectibles, commissioned in conjunction with MLB and Disney Consumer Products' licensee Forever Collectibles, will be uniquely decorated with bold graphics featuring logos of each of the 30 MLB clubs as well as an American League and a National League design. In addition, four statuettes will feature various All-Star Game themes. "Disney's #1 All-Star" will be the theme of each Mickey that you find, and they make great collectibles for those considering getting all 36 of them at the MLB.com Shop.

In addition to finding them here with an immediate and easy checkout, the statuettes will be available for purchase later this month through DisneyStore.com and additional retailers, including MLB stadium shops, Walgreens and Dick's Sporting Goods. Photos of all variations are available at MLBPressBox.com and DisneyConsumerProducts.com.

The 36 statues will also be decorated using the same logos and designs as the statuettes. With a height of 7 1/2 feet and weighing 989 pounds, these MLB-themed statues will begin to appear at landmarks throughout Southern California as the All-Star Game nears. Exact locations will be made public at a later date, and as with previous Midsummer Classics, finding them is a big part of the fun.

Starting next month, fans can also obtain a wide variety of merchandise and apparel featuring Major League Baseball and beloved Disney characters, including caps, T-shirts, sweatshirts, drink ware, pins, throws and beach towels.

As long as Mickey is going to be a major figure surrounding this year's All-Star Game, here is a little more Mickey trivia regarding the game. Cliff Melton represented the New York Giants as a pitcher in the 1942 All-Star Game, and his nickname was "Mickey Mouse." One of the greatest Mickeys in baseball history was Hall of Famer Mickey Welch, but he was far too early for this event, which began in 1933. Welch, aka "Smiling Mickey," won 307 games from 1880-92.

Mantle, naturally, was the greatest All-Star of all Mickeys. He was an All-Star in all but two of his 18 Major League seasons. Disneyland opened to the general public on July 18, 1955. That was six days after The Mick, batting cleanup for the AL in the All-Star Game, crushed a three-run homer in the first inning to deep center off Robin Roberts at County Stadium in Milwaukee.

Building up to the excitement of the All-Star Game, MLB will conduct a wide variety of special events and charitable activities for fans both inside and outside of Angel Stadium. At the ballpark, the events will include Taco Bell All-Star Sunday on July 11, featuring the XM All-Star Futures Game and the Taco Bell All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game, and Gatorade All-Star Workout Day on July 12, featuring the State Farm Home Run Derby, to be aired by ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN Radio.

Outside of the ballpark, fans will have an opportunity to experience All-Star Summer through a variety of special events, including All-Star FanFest, the five-day interactive fan festival; the All-Star Game Charity 5K & Fun Run, a charity run/walk on a baseball-themed route to benefit four cancer organizations; and the MLB All-Star Game Red Carpet Show presented by Chevy on MLB Network, a free parade of All-Stars through the streets of Anaheim.

The Midsummer Classic will be televised nationally on FOX, broadcast on ESPN Radio and will be shown around the world by Major League Baseball International. For more information about 2010 All-Star Summer, visit AllStarGame.com.

Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. Follow him @MLB on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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