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Legacy events to highlight All-Star Week in DC

MLB and Nationals teaming up to help local communities
MLB.com @MannyOnMLB

Major League Baseball, the Nationals and the Nationals Dream Foundation announced the 2018 All-Star Legacy initiative Wednesday, which will result in several community enrichment projects throughout Greater Washington D.C. The various All-Star Legacy projects will be unveiled leading up to the 89th MLB All-Star Game presented by Mastercard on July 17.

Approximately $5 million, a large portion of which will go toward the All-Star Legacy initiative, will be donated for renovation and improvement projects throughout the region, as well as the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, the Jackie Robinson Foundation, Stand Up To Cancer and other national charitable partners of MLB.

Major League Baseball, the Nationals and the Nationals Dream Foundation announced the 2018 All-Star Legacy initiative Wednesday, which will result in several community enrichment projects throughout Greater Washington D.C. The various All-Star Legacy projects will be unveiled leading up to the 89th MLB All-Star Game presented by Mastercard on July 17.

Approximately $5 million, a large portion of which will go toward the All-Star Legacy initiative, will be donated for renovation and improvement projects throughout the region, as well as the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, the Jackie Robinson Foundation, Stand Up To Cancer and other national charitable partners of MLB.

Funds raised from Gatorade All-Star Workout Day at Nationals Park on July 16 will support the Legacy efforts. MLB and host All-Star clubs have donated approximately $85 million through the All-Star Legacy initiative since 1997.

This year, the All-Star Legacy projects will include local youth baseball and softball field renovations in the area, a new All-Star Pavilion at the Nationals Youth Baseball Academy, building new facilities for a local affordable housing program, renovation of a local USO depot, building new facilities for a local Boys & Girls Club and providing a mobile dental unit to serve local areas with shortages in dental health professionals.

The local baseball and softball fields being renovated include the Nationals All-Star Field at Walker Mill Regional Park in Prince George's County, Md. Improvements will include field grading, upgrades to sod and ballfield mix and the additions of a new irrigation system, scoreboard, covered dugouts, bleachers with shade structures, fencing, batting cage and storage shed. Upgrades to the field will allow for a variety of youth-focused activities, including Play Ball events (Scotts MLB Pitch, Hit and Run, Jr. Home Run Derby, etc.), youth showcase and league games and more.

Another field that will be renovated is at the Youth Baseball Complex at Fred Crabtree Park in Fairfax County, Va. Improvements will include laser grading of the field, which is being expanded, and an extended irrigation system, as well as new scoreboards, covered dugouts, bleachers with shade structures and enhancements to a storage shed, fencing, batting cages, bullpens, a concession stand and restrooms.

The new All-Star Pavilion at the Nationals Youth Baseball Academy will be a 2,880-square-foot open-air facility next to the Academy's main field. It will serve as a key element to programming and events at the region's hub for youth baseball and softball. The pavilion will include four covered batting cages and be utilized year-round as a gathering space with picnic tables for community use.

MLB, the Nationals and the Nationals Dream Foundation will also provide a teen room, playground, computer lab and community room for the Washington D.C., affordable housing program SOME (So Others Might Eat) Spring Road. SOME's high-level supportive programs will be housed in these new MLB- and Nationals-supported areas, and it will give resident children the ability to safely play and have fun right outside their homes.

The USO-Metro All-Star Depot at Fort Belvoir in Fairfax County is a project to renovate a 12,000-square-foot USO logistics facility that is primarily used to receive and store non-perishable goods and program supplies delivered weekly to the nine USO-Metro locations in the Washington D.C., region. A new HVAC system and commercial-grade refrigeration units will be provided as part of the renovation project.

Another element of the All-Star Legacy program this year will be the complete renovation of the teen room at Richard England Clubhouse No. 14 of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington. It will include new furniture, TVs, computers and games, allowing much-needed space and supplies for multifaceted after-school activities. Four inoperative HVAC units will also be replaced, providing a temperate climate year-round. Many inoperable doors will also be replaced, providing increased safety.

MLB, the Nationals, the Dream Foundation and Jeff Franzen and Sons will also provide a brand-new mobile dental unit serving 19 sites in Wards 7 & 8 and Prince George's County. These are areas in which there is a significant dental health professional shortage (one dentist per every 4,000 residents, which is less than half the national average ratio). This "Brighter Smiles, Brighter Futures" mobile dental unit, in conjunction with Children's National, will replace the existing, outdated unit.

These important initiatives are just a few of many community and youth programs and events that will be taking place during All-Star Week in Washington. The full scope of these programs and events, including non-All-Star Legacy projects and other initiatives, will be announced at a later date.

Manny Randhawa is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @MannyOnMLB.