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'PLAY BALL Park' will be Free Attraction During All-Star Week

Major League Baseball today announced the schedule and details for 'PLAY BALL Park,' a free All-Star Week attraction located at Bayfront Park in Miami that will be accessible to children and parents from Thursday, July 6th through Tuesday, July 11th. Measuring about one acre in size, PLAY BALL Park will include a youth-sized, turf diamond featuring daily scheduled programming and open-play as well as batting tunnels, pitching inflatables, MLB Sponsor activation zones, and a new 'Stickball Alley.' Each young person who participates in PLAY BALL Park activities will receive a plastic or foam bat & ball set made by Franklin and a PLAY BALL-branded t-shirt. During All-Star Week in San Diego last year, nearly 4,000 youth, ages 4 to 17, participated in the inaugural PLAY BALL Park activities. More information on PLAY BALL Park can be found at AllStarGame.com/playballpark.

Various PLAY BALL partners will provide programming throughout the week for kids of all ages, highlighting different kinds of informal ways to play baseball and softball, including the following:

Major League Baseball today announced the schedule and details for 'PLAY BALL Park,' a free All-Star Week attraction located at Bayfront Park in Miami that will be accessible to children and parents from Thursday, July 6th through Tuesday, July 11th. Measuring about one acre in size, PLAY BALL Park will include a youth-sized, turf diamond featuring daily scheduled programming and open-play as well as batting tunnels, pitching inflatables, MLB Sponsor activation zones, and a new 'Stickball Alley.' Each young person who participates in PLAY BALL Park activities will receive a plastic or foam bat & ball set made by Franklin and a PLAY BALL-branded t-shirt. During All-Star Week in San Diego last year, nearly 4,000 youth, ages 4 to 17, participated in the inaugural PLAY BALL Park activities. More information on PLAY BALL Park can be found at AllStarGame.com/playballpark.

Various PLAY BALL partners will provide programming throughout the week for kids of all ages, highlighting different kinds of informal ways to play baseball and softball, including the following:

USA Baseball

o Fun At Bat - An entry-level bat and ball game played with modified equipment (e.g. large colorful rubber ball) emphasizing fun, active play and character development. More information on the new grassroots initiative by MLB and USA Baseball, visit FunAtBat.com. Ages 4-7.

o Backyard Ball - Informal plastic bat and ball games played as a competition between two teams featuring different rule variations on an inning-by-inning basis. Ages 8-12.

o "USA Baseball Mobile App" Activation- USA Baseball coaches and staff will run a series of drills and other practice scenarios that focus on fundamental skill acquisition and development - all of which are typically found on the "USA Baseball Mobile Coaching App" that is available free of charge on all Apple and Android devices. Segments would end with an informal derivative of play, such as "home run derby." Ages 13-18.

USA Softball

o Around the World Softball - A point-based game where each player hits the ball and runs base to base continuously until the ball reaches back to the mound by the defense. Ages 4-12.

o Instructional - A series of instructional infield and hitting drills. Participants will split their time between each station and end in a relay race around the bases. Ages 8-12.

o Pure Competition - A series of competitions where participants are placed on teams and asked to execute bunts, squeezes, hit & runs, line drives, location and more. Activities are point-based and will emphasize teamwork. Ages 13-18.

Boys & Girls Clubs of America

o All-Star PLAY BALL Series - Miami-area Boys & Girls Clubs will field teams of 10-12 year-olds to compete in the third annual All-Star PLAY BALL Series. Competition will be single-elimination games. Round one will take place at PLAY BALL Park on Friday, July 7th. Advancing teams head to the Finals at the All-Star FanFest Diamond at the Miami Beach Convention Center on Saturday, July 8th. The two final teams will receive special prizes and tickets to All-Star Sunday events.

This year's version of PLAY BALL Park will feature a new element called "Stickball Alley" where participants will enjoy the informal version of baseball that is usually played with a stick and rubber ball. PLAY BALL Park will host a Stickball Alley Tournament on Monday, July 10th. Stickball is mostly associated with northeastern U.S. cities, but it has developed and strong and growing presence in Miami. Additionally, Monday, July 10th will be "Hispanic Heritage Day" at PLAY BALL Park, featuring bilingual messaging and Latin-influenced music throughout the day.

The Positive Coaching Alliance, a national nonprofit organization with the mission of developing "Better Athletes, Better People" through a positive, character-building youth sports experience, will be hosting a "Parent Station" at PLAY BALL Park. Parents will learn how they can best support their children in youth sports, ensuring a positive experience that goes well beyond the results on the scoreboard. All attendees will receive a Positive Sports Parenting book that includes tips for successful parent-athlete and parent-coach relationships.

MLB sponsors who generously support the PLAY BALL initiative also will have a visible presence at PLAY BALL Park. Scott, Chevrolet and Nathan's Famous signage will be evident throughout the footprint, along with special branded elements. This includes renaming the turf diamond to the "Chevrolet PLAY BALL Diamond," the batting cage to the "Scotts Batting Cage," and Nathan's Famous bringing their mobile tour's customized vehicles to bring Coney Island fun to PLAY BALL Park. Nathan's Famous elements include fun and games such as an accuracy pitch inflatable, skee ball, MLB video games and chances to win fun prizes. Additionally, will be on-hand for the PLAY BALL Park Opening Ceremonies where they will make a $20,000 donation of Sam's Club Memberships and Nathan's Famous hot dogs to the Miami Marlins RBI teams participating in the All-Star Youth Classic. MLB Network and the Miami Marlins will also provide inflatable pitching tunnels to round out the interactive stations at PLAY BALL Park.

Special scheduled appearances at PLAY BALL Park include Two-Time Olympic Gold Medalist and MLB Youth Programs Ambassador Jennie Finch, Players in the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game, Participants in the High School Home Run Derby, Members of USA Baseball & USA Softball National Teams, MLB Mascots and more. Participants attending scheduled programming at PLAY BALL Park will include kids from the All-Star Youth Classic, National Finalists in the Scotts MLB Pitch, Hit & Run competition, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Miami Marlins RBI program, Chevy Youth Baseball as well as local Little Leagues, PONY Baseball and Babe Ruth Baseball leagues.  

ABOUT PLAY BALL

In 2015, Major League Baseball launched the "PLAY BALL" initiative as the sport's largest collective effort to encourage young people to participate in baseball- or softball-related activities, including formal leagues, special events and casual forms of play. PLAY BALL events have become MLB's signature youth engagement activity during the professional and amateur baseball and softball calendar, particularly in connection with key dates from Spring Training, through the MLB Championship Season and into the Postseason and World Series. PLAY BALL aims to highlight the fun and community-focused natures of the game at the Major League, professional, amateur and youth levels. In addition to flagship partnerships with USA Baseball and USA Softball, PLAY BALL is also supported by all 30 MLB Clubs, Minor League Baseball, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, and MLB Corporate Partners Chevrolet, Scotts and Nathan's Famous. In 2016, MLB Network launched Play Ball, a weekly player interview and demonstration show geared toward kids. In the program, MLB stars, including Bryce Harper, Dexter Fowler, Francisco Lindor and Anthony Rizzo, have discussed their experiences reaching the Major Leagues and shared tips in one-on-one demonstrations and conversations with MLB Network analysts. Currently in its second season, Play Ball is available on multiple platforms, including MLB Network, MLB At Bat, MLB.com and Facebook.

ABOUT MLB ALL-STAR WEEK

MLB All-Star Week includes the MLB All-Star Game presented by Mastercard at Marlins Park (July 11th), Gatorade All-Star Workout Day featuring the T-Mobile Home Run Derby (July 10th), All-Star Sunday featuring the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game and All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game (July 9th), All-Star FanFest at the Miami Beach Convention Center (July 7th-11th), plus a lineup of additional events taking place around the city. The 88th Midsummer Classic will be televised nationally by FOX Sports; in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS; and worldwide by partners in more than 180 countries. FOX Deportes will provide Spanish language coverage in the United States, while ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network, MLB.com and Sirius XM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information about MLB All-Star Week and to purchase tickets, please visit AllStarGame.com and follow @AllStarGame on social media.