Midsummer Classic Celebrations Will Have Community Impact, Provide Fun Experiences and Educate about Baseball’s Historical Cultural Influence
SEATTLE – Major League Baseball and the Seattle Mariners today released the 2023 All-Star Week community, youth & cultural program schedule, including key events and initiatives leading up to the 93rd Midsummer Classic at T-Mobile Park. Highlights include All-Star Legacy ceremonies and community moments throughout Seattle as well as events tied to MLB-led youth and cultural efforts throughout the week. Starting Thursday, July 6th and lasting through Monday, July 10th, MLB legends, former Mariners players, and broadcasters will participate in the scheduled events.
COMMUNITY – LEGACY, SPECIAL YOUNG FANS & SENSORY INCLUSION
The 2023 All-Star Legacy initiative seeks to address equity gaps in sports-based youth development and education within Greater Seattle through a more than $2 million investment. These impact-focused efforts include field renovations, grants to local Nike RBI and other community baseball & softball league programs, building a workout and intramural league to connect middle school students with the sport, and providing funding and a facility refurbishment to a nonprofit offering degree attainment aid to local community college students.
Since 1997, MLB and host All-Star Clubs have donated more than $100 million through the All-Star Legacy initiative.
In addition to All-Star Legacy ceremonies, Major League Baseball has invited a special group of young fans from Make-A-Wish, Little League Challenger Division and Boys & Girls Clubs of America to receive an All-Star experience:
- All-Star Challenger Game – This annual occasion will give an opportunity to children with special needs from the Little League Challenger Division to be part of a fun, engaging game at PLAY BALL Park.
- Make-A-Wish – Five young fans whose wish was to be part of All-Star Week festivities, including all events at T-Mobile Park, will be special guests of Major League Baseball. They include Evan (14) from North Caldwell, NJ; Legend (14) from Carmichael, CA; Gabriel (15) from San Leandro, CA; Jacob (17) from Leominster, MA; and Jack (17) from Stanley, ND. Their experiences will include a Make-A-Wish Welcome reception presented by Hankook Tire, VIP treatment at PLAY BALL Park, the MLB Draft and watching all T-Mobile Park events from a suite donated by Hankook Tire. Each year, the Make-A-Wish Foundation grants life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. These wishes give kids the emotional and physical strength needed to fight their medical condition. Since 1980, Major League Baseball and its Clubs have worked with Make-A-Wish to grant wishes for children, donate tickets, and raise money for local chapters.
- Boys & Girls Clubs of America, “Youth of the Year” – Boys & Girls Clubs of America 2023 Washington State Youth of the Year Dalilah F. from Boys & Girls Clubs of Benton and Franklin Counties will be a part of the pregame ceremonies for the 93rd MLB All–Star Game presented by Mastercard, delivering the game’s first ball to the mound. Dalilah is a Senior at Kennewick High School whose career aspiration is in Criminology.
MLB is partnering with KultureCity during All-Star Week to make All-Star event locations Sensory Inclusive™, including at T-Mobile Park for all ballpark events Saturday, Monday and Tuesday as well as Capital One PLAY BALL Park. Sensory spaces will be located at T-Mobile Park (LF Ramp – 300 Level), Lumen Field (Ben’s Sensor Room), and PLAY BALL Park (Muckleshoot Heritage Plaza). These bags include noise-canceling headphones, fidget tools, a feelings thermometer, and other calming mechanisms. KultureCity is the nation’s leading nonprofit dedicated to fighting for inclusion and acceptance of all individuals. KultureCity advocates for those with sensory challenges such as autism and PTSD, just to name a few. KultureCity provides training and equipment to public and private spaces to create an inclusive experience for everyone to fight against social isolation.
ENVIRONMENTAL – BEACH CLEANUP & AWARENESS
- All-Star Volunteer Beach Cleanup at Golden Gardens Park – MLB is partnering with Seattle Parks and Recreation and Seattle Parks Foundation on a beach cleanup to keep Golden Gardens Park safe, healthy, and clean. This event is part of the league’s continued efforts to promote sustainability and environmental awareness while also giving opportunities to take direct action through volunteerism. This effort is also in partnership with “Players for the Planet,” founded by former MLB outfielder Chris Dickerson and works to connect professional athletes, sports teams, and organizations with actionable opportunities to serve and protect the environment.
- MLB Environmental Efforts: MLB will continue its sustainability focus during All-Star Week. MLB plans to certify the event as socially and environmentally friendly through the Council for Responsible Sport. Efforts include:
- Green Teams consisting of local college students will collect recyclables between innings during the ballpark events on Friday, Saturday, Monday, and Tuesday and volunteer at the All-Star Volunteer Beach Cleanup at Golden Gardens Park on July 8th.
- MLB is encouraging alternate forms of transportation including utilizing Seattle public transit and promoting an All-Star Green Walking & Biking Path throughout downtown Seattle. Walking and biking routes will be marked along the sidewalk and bike lanes. A Cascade operated bike valet will be available in the Lumen Feld North Lot on July 10th and 11th from 9am to 8pm.
- MLB is providing reusable water bottles and water refill stations to Broadcasters, Media, MLB Staff, and Mariners Staff in an effort to reduce single-use plastics.
- The league will work with partners to offset its environmental footprint during All-Star Week.
- Existing T-Mobile Park and Lumen Field efforts include:
- With four charging stations on the exterior of T-Mobile Park parking structure, the Mariners are developing plans to expand charging throughout the structure on multiple floors.
- The Seattle Mariners have won the Green Glove Award twice and are leaders in waste diversion for the American League West division.
- The Seattle Mariners donate leftover food to those in need and are continuing this effort throughout All-Star Week.
- Lumen Field has a solar field that covers the entire roof of Lumen Field Event Center.
- The property has 14 EV Chargers available to the public.
BASEBALL & SOFTBALL DEVELOPMENT –H.S. ALL-AMERICAN GAME & YOUTH HOME RUN SLUGGERS
Major League Baseball will continue to focus on the next generation of baseball & softball athletes through a variety of activities during All-Star Week.
- Commissioner’s Cup & Jennie Finch Classic – The All-Star Commissioner’s Cup and Jennie Finch Classic presented by ARM & HAMMMER are returning to the Midsummer Classic, with competition centered at Seattle University, University of Washington and Lower Woodland Park – which was renovated as part of the 2001 All-Star Legacy initiative – from July 7th-10th. These youth baseball and softball tournaments feature teams from Seattle and MLB Youth Academies around the country and Puerto Rico. Opening ceremonies for the tournaments will be held on Thursday, July 6th, preceded by local Pitch, Hit & Run and Home Run Derby competitions that will be open to the public all day.
- MLB Develops Days at All-Star – On Friday, July 7thand Saturday, July 8th, MLB and various partners, including USA Baseball, the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) and the MLB-MLBPA Youth Development Foundation (YDF), will demonstrate their collective impact on the development of youth and amateur players on one of baseball’s grandest stages – MLB All-Star Week. Through these special MLB Develops Days at All-Star, players from across the United States, ranging from 12u to college-age, will have the opportunity to show-off their skills while also being a part of world-class experiences in T-Mobile Park.
- Beginning on Friday, July 7th, youth baseball and softball players, ages 11-16, will compete in the National Finals of the Jr. Home Run Derby. That afternoon, the best prep baseball players in the Nation will compete in the “High School All-American Game.” That evening will be the inaugural HBCU Swingman Classic presented by T-Mobile and powered by the MLB-MLBPA Youth Development Foundation. Legends including the “Swingman” himself Ken Griffey Jr. and Hall of Famer Andre Dawson will headline the appearances at this new premier HBCU All-Star Game hosted by MLB, the MLBPA, Griffey Jr. and YDF.
- The MLB Develops Days at All-Star will be rounded out on Saturday morning with the MLB-USA Baseball High School Home Run Derby, which will feature players from the High School All-American Game and other standout prep players from across the country. Each of the MLBDevelops Days at All-Star participants will see the dreams of their future LIVE and in-person as they attend the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game on All-Star Saturday (July 8th).
- Clinics at PLAY BALL Park – There will be a series of special clinics held at PLAY BALL Park for a variety of groups, including on Sunday when kids connected to Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) and Roberto Clemente Foundation will be part of the experience.
CULTURAL – DIVERSE BUSINESS, SEATTLE CULTURE & CONVERSATIONS
- Diverse Business Partners – MLB will host a Diverse Supplier Luncheon at T-Mobile Park, a curated event featuring dozens of Seattle-based Minority Business Enterprises comprised of entrepreneurs and diverse business owners representing various specialties such as fashion, art, food & beverage, and more. MLB partners Mastercard and Sage will provide business resources. Following the event, all participants will be invited guests to the HBCU Swingman Classic.
- Celebration of Seattle Culture: Art, Food & Music – MLB and the Mariners will celebrate Seattle’s culture of art, food & music. MLB will support local artists through All-Star inspired murals that will be a Legacy gift to the City of Seattle. At both T-Mobile Park and PLAY BALL Park, MLB and the Mariners will provide free cultural food experiences where diverse communities will share their cultural flavors. These include “Culture Corner” outside of T-Mobile Park and the Mastercard Food Truck Row at PLAY BALL Park that will include Mexican-Cuban, Hawaiian, Native American and Creole culinary choices. MLB has collaborated with The Residency, a community program co-founded by Grammy-Award winners Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, to give opportunities for young hip-hop artists from the Greater Seattle area to perform on the PLAY BALL PARK stage.
- Important Conversations – MLB will host three distinct conversations at PLAY BALL Park touching on the cultural impact of baseball & softball around the world in Seattle, including (a) the history of African American and Asian baseball history dating back more than 100 years; (b) Women in Sports, featuring both Softball and Girls Baseball legends; and (c) cultural conversations featuring Mariners Legends.
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