DEDICATED TO SUPPORTING VETERANS & MILITARY FAMILIES: MLB is dedicating Game One of the 2014 World Series to honoring veterans and military families, highlighting support of Baseball's Welcome Back Veterans initiative.
COMMISSIONER SELIG'S VISIT WITH LOCAL VETERANS: The day of special activities designed to honor veterans will begin with Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig visiting local veterans at the Kansas City VA Medical Center Honor Annex. He will be joined by MLB Chief Operating Officer Rob Manfred, David and Dan Glass (Royals Chief Executive Officer and President, respectively), Royals Legend John Mayberry, the United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert A. McDonald and Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral James A. Winnefeld.
PRE-GAME CEREMONY AND CEREMONIAL FIRST PITCH FEATURING LOCAL VETERAN: A special pre-game ceremony will feature Secretary Robert A. McDonald and Admiral James A. Winnefeld, who is the Nation's second highest ranking military officer, along with Staff Sergeant Pedro Sotelo (disabled and separated from service). Sotelo was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico, but has lived in Kansas City for the last 23 years. Sotelo was deployed to Iraq in 2003 as part of a special operations unit in the U.S. Army Reserves, and upon his return home, he was diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in 2005. Today, Sotelo volunteers at the local VA Hospital as part of the Vet4Vet group helping other veterans, and is a mentor with Wounded Warriors and Soldiers to Summits, a program that uses mountaineering to help veterans overcome PTSD and traumatic brain injury issues. Sotelo will throw the ceremonial first pitch of Game One.
GAME ONE PERFORMANCES: Grammy, CMA and ACM Award-winning vocalist Trisha Yearwood will perform the National Anthem prior to Game One. Yearwood will release her 12th studio album, PrizeFigher: Hit after Hit on November 17th. Available for pre-order now on
GhostTunes (http://gtun.es/TrisPress), Yearwood's new album will feature six new songs, including her new single "PrizeFighter," and ten hits, including her #1 hits "She's in Love With the Boy," "XXX's and OOO's," and "How Do I Live." Since the release of her last Grammy-nominated album, Trisha has written two New York Times Bestselling cookbooks (Georgia Cooking in an Oklahoma Kitchen and Home Cooking with Trisha Yearwood) and has a third on the way, entitled Trisha's Table. She's hosted five seasons of her Emmy Award-winning Food Network series, Trisha's Southern Kitchen, and has her own cookware and cutlery lines on the way. Trisha is currently performing on the Garth Brooks World Tour with Trisha Yearwood, a history-making tour that is already shattering box office records.
Singing "God Bless America" before the bottom of the 7th inning will be Retired Naval Petty Officer 1st Class Generald Wilson.
NEW WBV PSAs ON GAME ONE FOX TELECAST: Major League Baseball will unveil two new public service announcements (PSAs) in support of Welcome Back Veterans. The spots capture both the emotional spirit and significance of baseball's unique role in welcoming back our service men and women. The creative and production of both spots were handled by BarrettSF. The PSAs can be WATCHED at the following links:WBV - Royals Surprise & WBV - Handshakes.
ABOUT WELCOME BACK VETERANS: Since 2008, Major League Baseball and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation have committed more than $30 million to Welcome Back Veterans (WelcomeBackVeterans.org). To date, a total of approximately $17 million in grants has been awarded to nonprofit 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).
BANK OF AMERICA SUPPORT: Bank of America, the Official Bank of Major League Baseball, will provide American flags for fans at each Kauffman Stadium entrance, and ask those in attendance to participate in a "Stand and Salute" moment during the 7th inning stretch, immediately following God Bless America, to honor service members and veterans. This moment will culminate the bank's efforts to capture one million expressions of thanks for
members of the military in 2014 as part of its "Express Your Thanks" campaign. To celebrate reaching the campaign goal, Bank of America, in partnership with Welcome Back Veterans and the Massachusetts General Hospital Home Base Program, worked with 2013 World Series Most Valuable Player David Ortiz to surprise three veterans with tickets to Game One of the World Series to enjoy the game and be present for the "Stand and Salute" moment. The veterans' surprise invitation to the game was captured in a video that Bank of America and Major League Baseball released online today. You WATCH the video here.
Through the "Express Your Thanks" program, Bank of America is generating a $1 million donation to be shared by Welcome Back Veterans and Wounded Warrior Project to help service members and veterans succeed here at home. This year's donation will add to the $1.4 million already donated through the campaign since 2012. Fans can visit BankofAmerica.com/troopthanks to learn more about this program and how they can express their thanks.
BUDWEISER OUR HERO SEATS: Former U.S. Senator Bob Dole , the pride of Russell, Kansas, who served in the U.S. Army during World War II as a combat infantryman, will be honored in the Budweiser Our Hero Seat. After suffering serious injuries, Dole studied law and went onto serve in the Kansas Statehouse and later the U.S. Congress for more than 35 years. Dole has donated his actual seats to SSGT Matthew Gonzales, of Raytown, Missouri, who served in the U.S. Army for nine years, and is now battling a rare and aggressive, service-related cancer that developed during a deployment to Iraq 2007.
BUCK O'NEIL LEGACY SEAT: Continuing the Royals tradition of honoring a member of the community who embodies an aspect of the spirit of the former Negro Leagues Baseball player, U.S. Marine Corps Veteran Tony Clark will sit in the Buck O'Neil Legacy Seat. The Augusta, Kansa-native Clark now uses his experience in the battlefield to run ultra-marathons and marathons in his efforts to raise awareness and funds for several military and Veteran causes.
"PLAY BALL!": Austin Sides , the son of United States Air Force Major Robert Sides (both of whom were featured in the WBV - Royals Surprise PSA), will yell "Play Ball!" before the start of Game One.
FIRST-BALL DELIVERY: Marquon Goldsby , 16, of the John Thornberry Unit of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City will deliver the ceremonial first ball to the mound with Royals Legend Bret Saberhagen, who was the 1985 World Series Most Valuable Player and the winning pitcher in the decisive Game Seven of the 1985 World Series. Goldsby attends the Paseo Performing Arts Academy.
GAME TWO CEREMONIAL AND OFF-FIELD ACTIVITY DETAILS
DEDICATED TO EDUCATION & ALS AWARENESS: Game Two will be dedicated to two causes important to MLB: education and awareness of ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), also known as "Lou Gehrig's Disease."
SPECIAL PRE-GAME CEREMONY FOR ALS AWARENESS: Major League Baseball will continue to shine a light on ALS awareness after a groundbreaking year that featured players, executives and clubs throughout MLB participating in the "Ice Bucket Challenge" phenomenon. The "Ice Bucket Challenge" was inspired by former Boston College baseball captain Pete Frates and Pat Quinn, and has raised more than $100 million for ALS research. Frates' family (father, mother, brother and sister) will travel to Kansas City as Major League Baseball honors Pete for his extraordinary achievement in making a difference in the fight against ALS. Commissioner Selig will present a special trophy to the Frates family.
SHARON ROBINSON TO SPEAK TO FAXON ELEMENTARY KIDS AT THE NEGRO LEAGUES BASEBALL MUSEUM: More than 50 elementary school students from Faxon Elementary School will meet Sharon Robinson, author, MLB Educational Programming Consultant, and daughter of Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson. Sharon will speak to them about her pioneer father, who played for the Negro Leagues' Kansas City Monarchs in 1945. Sharon will also read passages from her books "Promises to Keep" and "Testing the Ice," which were inspired by Jackie.
BRETT TO THROW CEREMONIAL FIRST PITCH: Baseball Hall of Famer and Royals Vice President of Baseball Operations George Brett will throw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to Game Two.
GAME TWO PERFORMANCES: Platinum-recording artist Phillip Phillips will perform the National Anthem prior to Game Two. Phillip Phillips released his sophomore album Behind The Light in May. The album includes all songs that were either written or co-written by Phillips
including the lead single "Raging Fire," an epic and urgent love song that debuted in the Billboard Hot 100 upon its March release and quickly earned raves for Phillips's stirring vocal delivery and thrilling guitar work. Behind The Light is a follow-up to 2012's The World from the Side of the Moon , a platinum plus-selling album that debuted at #4 on the Billboard Top 200 and featured the 5x platinum smash hit "Home." Throughout the last year, the 23-year-old Georgia native has toured the U.S. and the world, joining Matchbox Twenty and John Mayer on tour and sharing a stage with Bruce Springsteen at the 2013 Rock in Rio festival. The American Idol season 11 winner is currently out on a national headline tour in support of his new single "Unpack Your Heart."
Singing "God Bless America" before the bottom of the 7th inning will be United States Marine Corps Corporal Richard Gibson.
HIGHLIGHTING EDUCATION THROUGH THE BREAKING BARRIERS PROGRAM: MLB will celebrate its commitment to education and the legacy of Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson through the Breaking Barriers: In Sports, In Life program, which is an MLB educational program he inspired. Breaking Barriers is an educational and essay writing-based program developed by MLB, Sharon 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. The program has reached more 22 million youth 2.9 million educators in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Breaking Barriers is supported Church & Dwight Co., maker of ARM & HAMMER and OxiClean, a proud sponsor of Major League Baseball.
BREAKING BARRIERS GRAND PRIZE WINNER RECOGNIZED: Michael Andalaro , a ninth grader from Phoenix, Arizona, will be recognized prior to Game Two for being one of two grand prize winners of the 2014 Breaking Barriers Essay Contest. In Michael's essay, he explains what it is like to be the only deaf student at his school, and how he uses persistence, teamwork, and a commitment to excellence to be a successful and engaging student.
MLB EFFORT TO RAISE ALS AWARNESS IN 2014: Earlier this season, MLB and its 30 Clubs paid special tribute in a league-wide recognition of the 75th anniversary of Hall of Famer
Lou Gehrig's iconic "Luckiest Man" speech by joining forces with ALS organizations to raise awareness for the disease. MLB donated $300,000, collectively, to these organizations that are leading the fight against ALS, including ALS Association, ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALS TDI), Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) and Project A.L.S. Clubs playing at home on July 4, 2014 conducted special on-field ceremonies to commemorate the anniversary of the speech and honor the legacy of Gehrig, who passed away on June 2, 1941 at the age of 37. As part of this effort, MLB unveiled a special commemorative 75th Anniversary patch, which was worn by all players, managers, coaches and umpires on July 4th. Additionally, a special video was played in all ballparks featuring one first baseman from each Club and former Yankees captain Derek Jeter reciting a line from Gehrig's speech.
FIRST-BALL DELIVERY: Keilarrian Gooden-Jones , 16, of Harrold Youth Center will deliver the ceremonial first ball to the mound with Royals Legend Mike Sweeney, who was five-time MLB All-Star. Gooden-Jones attends the Leavenworth High School.