Results tagged ‘ MLB ’

BASEBALL HALL OF FAME TOUR OPENS TOMORROW AT MILLER PARK

The historic Baseball Hall of Fame Tour (We Are Baseball) has made its way to Miller Park and is set to open to the public tomorrow (Friday, July 15) as the first-ever Major League city stop on its multi-year journey to dozens of cities across North America, bringing to fans a one-of-a-kind baseball experience through the illustrious history of the game with cutting-edge technology and digital media. Baseball fans in Milwaukee will be able to visit the one-of-a-kind mobile exhibit galleries in one of Miller Park’s parking lots through the end of the month.

Tickets are available now on the Tour’s official website, HallofFameTour.com.

We Are Baseball was developed with content provided by The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum and through a partnership with IMAX Corporation, MLBAM, Boston Red Sox chairman Tom Werner, CAA, and United Talent Agency, along with Arny Granat and Grand Slam Productions.

Today I was fortunate enough to get a sneak peek of the Tour, so here are some highlights that Iwas excited to check out.

IMAX MOVIE

Central to the fan experience is a mobile IMAX theater showcasing an original IMAX film highlighting the past, present and future of baseball. The 12-minute film is very moving and features never-before-seen new content as well as historical footage.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

TECHNOLOGY

To celebrate the shared experiences and bonds fans have for the sport, one-of-a-kind historical artifacts were curated by baseball historians and will be exhibited in unprecedented ways through state-of-the-art technology. This dynamic, customizable and sharable traveling exhibit will allow fans to “experience” the stories, traditions and stars covering baseball’s past and present like never before – from the game’s greatest luminaries, ranging from Honus Wagner to Willie Mays, Babe Ruth to Clayton Kershaw, and personalities and moments, like world renowned broadcaster Harry Caray or Bill Mazeroski’s legendary World Series-winning home run, to Fenway Park’s famed “Green Monster.” Examples include:

  • History Selfie: Put yourself into some of baseball’s most iconic moments and share with your friends, family and followers via social media

  • Hall of Fame Plaques in HD: Scroll through an interactive experience of the Hall of Fame plaques for every inductee

Hall of Fame Tour

  • Video Exhibit Cases: In a first-of-its-kind for baseball artifacts, utilize video screens to get the story behind a specific artifact before the artifact itself is revealed behind the screen.
  • This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

  • Personal Plaques: Using touch screen technology and high resolution cameras, take your own photo to create a personal Hall of Fame replica plaque and craft your own Hall of Fame story
Hall of Fame Tour

Take your photo and insert your own bio Mad Libs-style…create a plaque and email it to yourself to share online.

  • Interactive Games: An interactive touch screen table will allow you to play fun games against your family, friends and other We Are Baseball visitors

Hall of Fame Tour

  • Mobile: Leveraging MLBAM’s mobile development and technology expertise, the Tour also will integrate iBeacon technology for location awareness into the experiences for fans with the free MLB.com Ballpark app.

JAUNT VR

The Tour partnered with pioneering virtual reality (VR) company Jaunt to give fans up close and personal experiences of being present next to the game’s brightest stars, on field, in the dugout and even in the clubhouse. Shot over a series of weeks and available only as part of the Tour, Jaunt captured footage at Spring Training camps for the Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Oakland A’s. They were also on field for the Boston Red Sox Fenway Park and Chicago Cubs Wrigley Field home openers and documented the ring ceremony for the 2015 World Series Champion Kansas City Royals.

Hall of Fame Tour

The VR experience was very cool. If you haven’t tried VR anywhere, you definitely need to check this out. You’ll get up close and personal with players on the field.

FANATICS

In partnership with the inaugural Hall of Fame Tour, Fanatics, the global leader in licensed sports apparel and official MLB digital commerce partner, will operate a pop-up retail store and provide a wide range of officially licensed gear and customized products for each city stop. Local fans will have the ability to shop a wide selection of Hall of Fame Tour merchandise and Baseball Hall of Fame throwback designs, while also sifting through city-by-city Cooperstown memorabilia and collectibles. Fans unable to visit in person will be able to showcase their passion and pride by shopping all Hall of Fame Tour merchandise online.

Hall of Fame Tour

There is a large merchandise trailer on site with lots of cool Hall of Fame items.

Along with Milwaukee, We Are Baseball will travel to five other cities in its first four months of operation in 2016, providing fans in those communities nearly 1,000 open hours of access to the exhibits, artifacts and immersive experiences provided from the vast collections of The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y. A detailed schedule for 2016 is below:

BASEBALL HALL OF FAME TOUR – 2016 SCHEDULE

Davenport, IA (Modern Woodmen Park)                  July 3-10

Milwaukee, WI (Miller Park)                                      July 15-31

Kansas City, MO (Kauffman Stadium)                      August 5-21

St. Louis, MO (Busch Stadium)                                 August 26 – September 11

Minneapolis, MN (Mall of America)                          September 16-29

Las Vegas, NV (Las Vegas Convention Center)        October 7-23

A Tour schedule for 2017 will be released as it becomes available. Visit HallofFameTour.com for complete details and the latest scheduling and ticket information.

BASEBALL HALL OF FAME TOUR OPENS FRIDAY AT MILLER PARK

The historic Baseball Hall of Fame Tour (We Are Baseball) is coming to Miller Park beginning this Friday (July 15) as the first-ever Major League city stop on its multi-year journey to dozens of cities across North America, bringing to fans a one-of-a-kind baseball experience through the illustrious history of the game with cutting-edge technology and digital media. Baseball fans in Milwaukee will be able to visit the one-of-a-kind mobile exhibit galleries in one of Miller Park’s parking lots from July 15-31.

Tickets are available now on the Tour’s official website, HallofFameTour.com.

We Are Baseball was developed with content provided by The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum and through a partnership with IMAX Corporation, MLBAM, Boston Red Sox chairman Tom Werner, CAA, and United Talent Agency, along with Arny Granat and Grand Slam Productions.

I will get a sneak peek of the Tour tomorrow and hope to have some pictures and video for you here, but in the meantime, here are some highlights that I’m excited to check out!

IMAX MOVIE

Central to the fan experience is a mobile IMAX theater showcasing an original IMAX film highlighting the past, present and future of baseball. The film will feature never-before-seen new content as well as historical footage.

TECHNOLOGY

To celebrate the shared experiences and bonds fans have for the sport, one-of-a-kind historical artifacts were curated by baseball historians and will be exhibited in unprecedented ways through state-of-the-art technology. This dynamic, customizable and sharable traveling exhibit will allow fans to “experience” the stories, traditions and stars covering baseball’s past and present like never before – from the game’s greatest luminaries, ranging from Honus Wagner to Willie Mays, Babe Ruth to Clayton Kershaw, and personalities and moments, like world renowned broadcaster Harry Caray or Bill Mazeroski’s legendary World Series-winning home run, to Fenway Park’s famed “Green Monster.” Examples include:

  • History Selfie: Put yourself into some of baseball’s most iconic moments and share with your friends, family and followers via social media
  • Hall of Fame Plaques in HD: Scroll through an interactive experience of the Hall of Fame plaques for every inductee
  • Video Exhibit Cases: In a first-of-its-kind for baseball artifacts, utilize video screens to get the story behind a specific artifact before the artifact itself is revealed behind the screen
  • Personal Plaques: Using touch screen technology and high resolution cameras, take your own photo to create a personal Hall of Fame replica plaque and craft your own Hall of Fame story
  • Interactive Games: An interactive touch screen table will allow you to play fun games against your family, friends and other We Are Baseball visitors
  • Mobile: Leveraging MLBAM’s mobile development and technology expertise, the Tour also will integrate iBeacon technology for location awareness into the experiences for fans with the free MLB.com Ballpark app.

JAUNT VR

The Tour partnered with pioneering virtual reality (VR) company Jaunt to give fans up close and personal experiences of being present next to the game’s brightest stars, on field, in the dugout and even in the clubhouse. Shot over a series of weeks and available only as part of the Tour, Jaunt captured footage at Spring Training camps for the Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Oakland A’s. They were also on field for the Boston Red Sox Fenway Park and Chicago Cubs Wrigley Field home openers and documented the ring ceremony for the 2015 World Series Champion Kansas City Royals.

FANATICS

In partnership with the inaugural Hall of Fame Tour, Fanatics, the global leader in licensed sports apparel and official MLB digital commerce partner, will operate a pop-up retail store and provide a wide range of officially licensed gear and customized products for each city stop. Local fans will have the ability to shop a wide selection of Hall of Fame Tour merchandise and Baseball Hall of Fame throwback designs, while also sifting through city-by-city Cooperstown memorabilia and collectibles. Fans unable to visit in person will be able to showcase their passion and pride by shopping all Hall of Fame Tour merchandise online.

Along with Milwaukee, We Are Baseball will travel to five other cities in its first four months of operation in 2016, providing fans in those communities nearly 1,000 open hours of access to the exhibits, artifacts and immersive experiences provided from the vast collections of The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y. A detailed schedule for 2016 is below:

BASEBALL HALL OF FAME TOUR – 2016 SCHEDULE

Davenport, IA (Modern Woodmen Park)                  July 3-10

Milwaukee, WI (Miller Park)                                      July 15-31

Kansas City, MO (Kauffman Stadium)                      August 5-21

St. Louis, MO (Busch Stadium)                                 August 26 – September 11

Minneapolis, MN (Mall of America)                          September 16-29

Las Vegas, NV (Las Vegas Convention Center)        October 7-23

A Tour schedule for 2017 will be released as it becomes available. Visit HallofFameTour.com for complete details and the latest scheduling and ticket information.

Prostate Cancer Foundation and MLB Step Up to the Plate to Raise Awareness and Fund Research for Prostate Cancer

The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) and Major League Baseball (MLB) are once again teaming up to hit home runs for prostate cancer research and encourage fans to “Keep Dad in the Game” as part of the yearly celebration of Father’s Day and annual Home Run Challenge.

This year Joe Torre, MLB’s Chief Baseball Officer, Hall of Famer and prostate cancer survivor, encourages baseball fans everywhere to support PCF’s efforts to end prostate cancer by delivering an important public service announcement – “to step up to the plate, help save lives and get one step closer to finding a cure.”

“Joe has been a great partner in our progress toward improved treatment outcomes and an eventual cure,” said PCF Founder and Chairman Mike Milken.  “His work as well as those by MLB and all 30 Clubs has helped us raise more than $45 million for research programs that are saving thousands of lives.”

During this year’s Home Run Challenge, MLB and PCF encourage baseball fans to visit HomeRunChallenge.org to make a pledge for every home run hit during MLB games played from June 13 through Father’s Day, June 19.  While visiting HomeRunChallenge.org, fans can also make a simple one-time donation, sign up to receive more information about prostate cancer, and participate in the PCF Home Run Trot promotion to win two (2) all-inclusive tickets to this year’s MLB All-Star Game in San Diego.

Mike Milken, Chairman and Founder of the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) and prostate cancer survivor is joined by  Jonathan Simons, CEO of PCF; John Weston, COO of PCF; Herb and Sarah Biggers, Friends of PCF; Josh Lang, Researcher for PCF; and Dr. Christos Kyriakipoulous, University of Wisconsin Medical Foundation, Inc.

Mike Milken, Chairman and Founder of the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) and prostate cancer survivor is joined by Jonathan Simons, CEO of PCF; John Weston, COO of PCF; Herb and Sarah Biggers, Friends of PCF; Josh Lang, Researcher for PCF; and Dr. Christos Kyriakipoulous, University of Wisconsin Medical Foundation, Inc.

On Father’s Day, MLB players, managers, coaches, trainers, umpires and groundskeepers will wear blue wristbands and blue ribbon uniform decals. Additionally, Clubs may host pre-game ceremonies and use a special blue MLB Father’s Day line-up card. Major League Baseball Charities has committed $50,000 to PCF as part of this annual effort.

Additionally, MLB Clubs will celebrate Father’s Day in specially designed uniforms for the first time.  Father’s Day uniforms and caps will incorporate light blue into Clubs’ regular logos against a grey or white background.  MLB will donate royalties earned from the sales of licensed Father’s Day jerseys and caps to PCF.

Since inception, PCF has been a pioneer in new drug development, providing key funding for FDA-approved treatments that improve survivorship.  Funding support of the Home Run Challenge by MLB and its Clubs has helped lower the prostate cancer death rate by more than 50% and made possible discoveries in prostate cancer that now extend to saving lives in eight other forms of cancer.

 

MILWAUKEE BREWERS TO BE FIRST MLB TEAM TO HOST BASEBALL HALL OF FAME TOUR BEGINNING JULY 15

The historic Baseball Hall of Fame Tour (We Are Baseball)will come to Miller Park beginning July 15 as the first-ever Major League city stop on its multi-year journey to dozens of cities across North America, bringing to fans a one-of-a-kind baseball experience through the illustrious history of the game with cutting-edge technology and digital media. Baseball fans in Milwaukee will be able to visit the one-of-a-kind mobile exhibit galleries in one of Miller Park’s parking lots from July 15-31.

Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. today became the first Commissioner to visit the Field of Dreams movie site, along with 2015 Hall of Fame inductee and MLB Network analyst John Smoltz, where the Tour’s 2016 travels were unveiled during a live town hall announcement event only 90 miles from the first stop – Modern Woodmen Park in Davenport, Iowa.

Brewers Season Seatholders will receive an email offering them a pre-sale opportunity, which includes a 10% savings on regular ticket prices for the exhibit.

Through its official ticketing provider, Tickets.com, the Tour’s general public tickets across all six locations will be available beginning Tuesday, May 31 at 10 a.m. CT on the Tour’s official website, HallofFameTour.com.

We Are Baseball was developed with content provided by The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum and through a partnership with IMAX Corporation, MLBAM, Boston Red Sox chairman Tom Werner, CAA, and United Talent Agency, along with Arny Granatand Grand Slam Productions.

IMAX MOVIE

Central to the fan experience is a mobile IMAX theater showcasing an original IMAX film highlighting the past, present and future of baseball. The film will feature never-before-seen new content as well as historical footage.

TECHNOLOGY

To celebrate the shared experiences and bonds fans have for the sport, one-of-a-kind historical artifacts were curated by baseball historians and will be exhibited in unprecedented ways through state-of-the-art technology. This dynamic, customizable and sharable traveling exhibit will allow fans to “experience” the stories, traditions and stars covering baseball’s past and present like never before – from the game’s greatest luminaries, ranging from Honus Wagner to Willie Mays, Babe Ruth to Clayton Kershaw, and personalities and moments, like world renowned broadcaster Harry Caray or Bill Mazeroski’s legendary World Series-winning home run, to Fenway Park’s famed “Green Monster.” Examples include:

  • History Selfie: Put yourself into some of baseball’s most iconic moments and share with your friends, family and followers via social media
  • Hall of Fame Plaques in HD: Scroll through an interactive experience of the Hall of Fame plaques for every inductee
  • Video Exhibit Cases: In a first-of-its-kind for baseball artifacts, utilize video screens to get the story behind a specific artifact before the artifact itself is revealed behind the screen
  • Personal Plaques: Using touch screen technology and high resolution cameras, take your own photo to create a personal Hall of Fame replica plaque and craft your own Hall of Fame story
  • Interactive Games: An interactive touch screen table will allow you to play fun games against your family, friends and other We Are Baseball visitors
  • Mobile: Leveraging MLBAM’s mobile development and technology expertise, the Tour also will integrate iBeacon technology for location awareness into the experiences for fans with the free MLB.com Ballpark app.

JAUNT VR

The Tour partnered with pioneering virtual reality (VR) company Jaunt to give fans up close and personal experiences of being present next to the game’s brightest stars, on field, in the dugout and even in the clubhouse. Shot over a series of weeks and available only as part of the Tour, Jaunt captured footage at Spring Training camps for the Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Oakland A’s. They were also on field for the Boston Red Sox Fenway Park and Chicago Cubs Wrigley Field home openers and documented the ring ceremony for the 2015 World Series Champion Kansas City Royals.

FANATICS

In partnership with the inaugural Hall of Fame Tour, Fanatics, the global leader in licensed sports apparel and official MLB digital commerce partner, will operate a pop-up retail store and provide a wide range of officially licensed gear and customized products for each city stop. Local fans will have the ability to shop a wide selection of Hall of Fame Tour merchandise and Baseball Hall of Fame throwback designs, while also sifting through city-by-city Cooperstown memorabilia and collectibles. Fans unable to visit in person will be able to showcase their passion and pride by shopping all Hall of Fame Tour merchandise online.

Along with Milwaukee, We Are Baseball will travel to five other cities in its first four months of operation in 2016, providing fans in those communities nearly 1,000 open hours of access to the exhibits, artifacts and immersive experiences provided from the vast collections of The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y. A detailed schedule for 2016 is below:

BASEBALL HALL OF FAME TOUR – 2016 SCHEDULE

Davenport, IA (Modern Woodmen Park)                  July 3-10

Milwaukee, WI (Miller Park)                                      July 15-31

Kansas City, MO (Kauffman Stadium)                      August 5-21

St. Louis, MO (Busch Stadium)                                 August 26 – September 11

Minneapolis, MN (Mall of America)                          September 16-29

Las Vegas, NV (Las Vegas Convention Center)        October 7-23

A Tour schedule for 2017 will be released as it becomes available. Visit HallofFameTour.com for complete details and the latest scheduling and ticket information.

Gary Vanden Berg Selected to MLB Groundskeepers Hall of Fame

The Major League Baseball groundskeepers are set to host their annual meeting in Los Angeles this weekend.  Prior to the meetings, the late Gary Vanden Berg was selected as the latest inductee into the MLB Groundskeepers Hall of Fame.  He will join previous inductees Emil Bossard (Indians), George Toma (Royals), Joe Mooney (Red Sox), Dick Ericson (Twins), Harry Gill (Brewers), Pete Flynn (Mets) and Pat Santarone (Orioles). Vanden Berg will be inducted this Sunday, January 24, at the DoubleTree in downtown Los Angeles.

Vanden Berg was a member of the Milwaukee Brewers organization for more than 30 years.  Following a year-long battle with cancer, he passed away on October 10, 2011.  Gary was well respected for the work he did, but more importantly for the person that he was.  It was unanimous that, among his peers, the trophy for the MLB Groundskeepers Hall of Fame was named in his honor upon its inception in 2011.

The late Gary Vanden Berg has been elected into the MLB Groundskeepers Hall of Fame. Photo by Tom Lynn

The late Gary Vanden Berg has been elected into the MLB Groundskeepers Hall of Fame.
Photo by Tom Lynn

“Gary set a standard that we all admire to this day, not just in his profession but in his personal relationships, and we are thrilled to hear that he is receiving such a high honor from his peers,” said Bob Quinn, Brewers Executive Vice President – Finance and Administration. “His care for the grounds at County Stadium and Miller Park in often challenging conditions was always at the top of the class. He was also a great friend to everyone in the organization, and a mentor to many who have now become established in the industry.”

Vanden Berg began his career in sports turf management when he joined the Milwaukee Brewers Grounds Department in 1981 as an assistant to the legendary Harry Gill, who is recognized as one of the founders and driving force behind the formation of the Sports Turf Managers Association (STMA). Vanden Berg served as Gill’s assistant until his passing in the fall of 1990, setting in motion his 21 years as the head groundskeeper for the Brewers.  Prior to his work in Milwaukee, Vanden Berg got his start in the turf grass industry by working on golf courses where he grew up in Oakfield, Wisconsin.

In his time as an assistant and head groundskeeper at County Stadium, Vanden Berg not only had to produce a quality field for the game of baseball, but also for football.  The Green Bay Packers played select home games at County Stadium through 1994.  In addition to Brewers and Packers games, the field endured other events including concerts, measurable snowfall during the season, and tractor pulls, to name a few.

Vanden Berg at County Stadium

Vanden Berg at County Stadium with Harry Gill.

When the Brewers moved from County Stadium to Miller Park, Vanden Berg made the move with the team, tackling the challenge of managing grass in a retractable roof stadium and its imposing shade patterns.  Vanden Berg prepared the Miller Park field for numerous events, most notably the 2002 All-Star Game and the Brewers’ playoff appearances in 2008.

Vanden Berg will forever be remembered for the internship program that he established in Milwaukee for college students aspiring to become sports turf managers.  Students from all over the nation sent their resumes in, hoping to get a spot on the Brewers Grounds Staff every year due to the great experience they were able to receive under Vanden Berg.  The national STMA recognized the importance of his internship program, and established the Gary Vanden Berg Internship Grant for students seeking internships that may not have otherwise been able to afford it.

To be considered for induction to the Major League Baseball Groundskeepers Hall of Fame, a person must have ceased employment in the profession for at least five years, and have made a significant contribution to groundskeeping and/or the sports turf industry at the Major League level. An individual’s impact on the community is also considered.  Nominees are submitted to the MLB Groundskeepers Association for a vote. Each team has one vote; a nominee must receive must receive 75% of the vote of all active association members.

Gary Vanden Berg (center) with Michael Boettcher (right) in 2010.

Gary Vanden Berg (center) with Michael Boettcher (right) in 2010.

Current Brewers Director of Grounds Michael Boettcher, along with David Mellor, Head Groundskeeper of the Boston Red Sox, recently took part in a Diamond Davincis podcast, a podcast dedicated to the artistry and science of sports field management, where they spoke about Vanden Berg’s induction into the Hall of Fame. You can take a listen, here.

 

MLB and USA Baseball Launch “Play Ball” Initiative Focusing on Youth Baseball

Last week, Major League Baseball and USA Baseball announced the launch of “PLAY BALL,” a significant new initiative that will encourage widespread participation in all forms of baseball activities among all age groups, especially youth.

The new program highlights the many ways baseball can be played, including outside of the traditionally-organized baseball leagues and tournaments, ranging from playing catch, stickball and Wiffle ball to participating in skills competitions like “Pitch, Hit & Run.” The initiative also will provide players, parents and coaches with the information and resources to help with proper play and instruction.

PlayBall.org serves as the initiative’s online home and is accessible via MLB.com, USABaseball.com and other partner websites. Coaching tips and parent resources will be prominent components of the site. PlayBall.org also gives parents, coaches and kids information on how to participate in Play Ball activities, links to youth-related news and events, and searchable maps to help find local community leagues. Health and safety information, including on MLB’s Pitch Smart and Play Sun Smart programs, also will be available.

Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. said: “Play Ball is our largest effort to grow baseball and softball at the grassroots level, particularly among kids.  The program will emphasize not only organized baseball and softball activity, but also the many variations of the game that do not require 18 players, umpires or a diamond.  We are looking forward to working with USA Baseball and our partner organizations to encourage participation in the many ways to enjoy the National Pastime and to strengthen our support of traditional styles of play.”

USA Baseball executive director/CEO Paul V. Seiler said: “The launch of Play Ball is a landmark occasion for our sport. With the support of Major League Baseball, we are thrilled to take a more active role in the proliferation of our game and offer innovative resources to our national member organizations and their constituents. While the launch of Play Ball is the culmination of a lot of hard work, today represents the beginning of our partnership with MLB to grow the game at the grassroots level.”

Additionally, MLB and USA Baseball are launching the Play Ball Mobile Coaching App, a free tool for coaches at every level that is currently available for download via Google Play and will be coming soon to the Apple App Store.  Coaches can access the App as guests, but by logging on with Play Ball credentials, users can create customized practice plans, organize team data, utilize Pitch Smart recommendations and more. The Play Ball Drills Library outlines information for hundreds of drills, along with important information such as difficulty level, recommended duration, diagrams and videos for each exercise.

One of the main features of PlayBall.org is “Baseball Near You,” a database of baseball playing opportunities, searchable by zip code. Inclusive of more than 10,000 leagues across the U.S., the feature identifies playing opportunities, as well provides contact information for player registration. Baseball Near You was made possible through the support of American Legion, Dixie Boys and Majors, Little League Baseball and Softball, Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities and the MLB Urban Youth Academies.

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MLB is partnering with its Clubs and various organizations to help grow the initiative’s awareness and accessibility through special events and promotional opportunities. USA Baseball, its national member organizations, and Boys & Girls Clubs of America, will help promote Play Ball across their membership bases and within their communities.  MLB also is launching MLB.com/playball, in conjunction with PlayBall.org, as a social media destination for fans to share their experiences during Play Ball activities.

Since April, Major League Baseball and Little League Baseball and Softball have joined up with ESPN for an initiative to promote youth baseball by bringing kids from local Little Leagues to MLB ballparks for ESPN’s “Sunday Night Baseball,” allowing them to meet Major Leaguers and appear on air with ESPN broadcasters. This initiative will continue in support of Play Ball’s launch. Special youth events that showcase the different ways to play the game will be an important aspect of Play Ball.  During All-Star Week in July, MLB, the Cincinnati Reds and Chevrolet are joining together to attempt to set the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ title for the “largest game of catch” at the MLB Largest Game of Catch presented by Chevrolet.

In addition to Play Ball, Major League Baseball is committed to strengthening its existing relationships with youth-based organizations and growing its ongoing initiatives, such as Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) program, Baseball Tomorrow Fund (BTF) and the MLB Urban Youth Academy network, which gives America’s youth, especially those from underserved and inner-city communities, greater access to playing baseball and softball.

Brewers to Promote Sun Safety Through Support of the 2015 Play Sun Smart Initiative

The Brewers are joining Major League Baseball and all MLB Clubs in once again promoting sun safety this spring and summer through the Play Sun Smart initiative, which launches throughout the league this month and will be marked at Miller Park on Tuesday, May 12.  Additionally, players, coaches and staff from all 30 Clubs will serve as role models for fans by participating in skin cancer screenings and practicing sun-safe behaviors throughout the season.

Play Sun Smart is a joint effort by Major League Baseball, the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) and the American Academy of Dermatology (Academy), with the goal of promoting sun safety, raising awareness of skin cancer and offering prevention and detection tips to the baseball community. Since 1999, Academy dermatologists have conducted nearly 37,000 skin cancer screenings through this program. More than 1,200 suspicious lesions have been detected, including 155 melanomas, through the Play Sun Smart club screenings.  Just like players and Brewers employees, fans are asked to practice safe sun behaviors and to find a free skin cancer screening in their area by visiting the Academy’s website at PlaySunSmart.org.

Current estimates are that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. Early detection of skin cancer is essential as it is highly curable if detected early and treated promptly.  Fans can spot skin cancer early by regularly looking over their entire bodies, including the back, scalp, soles, between the toes and on the palms.  If there are any changes in the size, color, shape or texture of a mole, if a new mole develops or any other unusual changes in the skin occur, fans are encouraged to make an appointment to see their dermatologist immediately. For more information about sun safety and the Play Sun Smart program, please visit MLBCommunity.org.

The Play Sun Smart program is one of several cancer-related initiatives supported by Major League Baseball. Other initiatives include Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C), whose mission is to support groundbreaking scientific research aimed at getting new cancer treatments to patients quickly; the Mother’s Day Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer initiative, which is a program to help increase awareness of breast cancer and raise money towards the search for a cure; and the Prostate Cancer Foundation’s Home Run Challenge, which helps increase awareness of prostate cancer and raise money for the search for a cure as part of the MLB Father’s Day celebration. To learn more about sun safety and the Play Sun Smart program and also Major League Baseball’s various charitable initiatives, please visit MLBCommunity.org.

Johanna Kretschmer from Burlington Named Brewers Honorary Bat Girl Will Be Honored at Miller Park on Mother’s Day

Major League Baseball has announced the winners of the 2015 Honorary Bat Girl contest, which recognizes baseball fans who have been affected by breast cancer and demonstrate a commitment to eradicating the disease.  The Honorary Bat Girl for the Milwaukee Brewers is Johanna Kretschmer from Burlington.  Kretschmer will be honored when the Brewers host the Chicago Cubs, on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 10 in Milwaukee.

The Honorary Bat Girl program was introduced in 2009 to raise additional awareness and support for the annual “Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer” initiative celebrated on Mother’s Day. In seven years, thousands of unique testimonials have been submitted and more than 2 million fan votes have been cast. Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer is a Major League Baseball initiative supported by MLB charitable partners, Stand Up To Cancer and Susan G. Komen. This initiative raises awareness about the breast cancer cause, while also raising funds to support breast cancer research.

On Mother’s Day, players and on-field personnel will wear the symbolic pink ribbon on their uniforms along with pink wrist bands. Commemorative base jewels and dugout lineup cards also will be pink. Games will feature a pink-stitched Rawlings baseball, the official ball of MLB, as the official game ball. Many MLB players also will use pink bats, and pink Louisville Slugger bats, the Official Bat of Major League Baseball, will be stamped with the MLB breast cancer awareness logo. Many authenticated, game-used Louisville Slugger pink bats from Mother’s Day games will be auctioned exclusively on MLB.com to benefit the fight against breast cancer.

MLB Launches “This” Campaign; First Brewers Spots Feature Gomez, Lohse

To kick off the 2015, Major League Baseball has launched a new marketing campaign, which is simply “THIS.”

THIS is shorthand for “This is baseball.” A THIS moment illuminates an aspect of the game in a fresh, insightful and authentic way. It draws attention to those moments that only happen in baseball, those moments that illustrate why baseball is the most entertaining game in the world.

THIS is a social prompt that tells people that there is something that they must see and moments for which there is nothing left to say but simply – look at “THIS”.

The campaign aims to highlight athletic performance of players, the culture of the game, the relationship between the players, the clubs and the fans, and all of the wonderful personalities around baseball.

While the Brew Crew was down in Arizona from Spring Training, a crew from Major League Baseball captured THIS moments with Carlos Gomez, Scooter Gennett, Will Smith and Kyle Lohse.

First, THIS: Carlos Gomez. Foul Pole.

And then, THIS: Kyle Lohse. Scooter!

This was a really fun TV shoot to be a part of. Here are some extra photos from that day:

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Also, as a footnote (and because I know he’d probably want me to mention it), each of the guys attempted to hit the foul pole with a baseball during the shoot and Kyle Lohse was actually the first one to do so, something you wouldn’t expect from a pitcher.

He then had fun trying it again…. this time with a golf ball and clubs. That didn’t take long:

-Cait

@CMoyer

MLB Annouces “Franchise Four” Campaign for 2015 All-Star Game

Major League Baseball today announced the launch of the “Franchise Four” campaign, which will allow fans to vote for the most impactful players who best represent each Major League franchise and several other significant categories in the sport’s history.  The winners of the month-long period of fan voting on MLB.com/FranchiseFour will be announced during pregame ceremonies before Baseball’s 86th All-Star Game on Tuesday, July 14 at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati on FOX.

Beginning today and running through Friday, May 8, fans can visit MLB.com/FranchiseFour to select the four most impactful players who best represent the history of each franchise out of eight choices from its lineage. 

The Brewers ballot includes: Ryan Braun, Cecil Cooper, Prince Fielder, Rollie Fingers, Jim Gantner, Paul Molitor, Gorman Thomas and Robin Yount.

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An additional write-in option will be available to fans on the ballot, which also can be accessed via mobile devices. The eight players were selected based on the recommendations of a blue-ribbon panel, in consultation with the 30 Clubs.  The panel was asked to identify “the most impactful players who best represent the history of each franchise (or special category)” for the ballot.

The panelists were MLB’s Official Historian John Thorn and representatives from MLB’s official statistician, the Elias Sports Bureau; MLB.com; MLB Network; and the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA).  In addition to the 30 franchises, fans can vote for three special categories: the “Greatest Living Players”; the greatest Negro Leagues Players; and the sport’s greatest Pioneers, encompassing players whose careers began more than a century ago.

MLB Chief Operating Officer Tony Petitti said: “The All-Star Game is a celebration of the National Pastime, and Cincinnati’s rich baseball heritage makes it a perfect venue to highlight the great players who are synonymous with our Clubs and those who played pivotal roles in the game’s history.  We believe that the Franchise Four campaign will engage fans in a fun and meaningful way and will link the past and the present in the manner that Baseball does so uniquely.”

 

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