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Seattle Mariners launch initiative to make baseball and softball accessible to young players

On BASE aims to remove barriers that may prevent kids from playing

The Seattle Mariners today unveiled a new initiative designed to make the game of baseball and softball more accessible to kids across the Northwest called On BASE (Baseball And Softball Everywhere).

"We believe that every child should have the chance to play baseball or softball," said John Stanton, Seattle Mariners Managing Partner and Chair. "Through On BASE, we will strive to give every girl and boy in the region the opportunity to get outside and to play America's favorite sports."

The Seattle Mariners today unveiled a new initiative designed to make the game of baseball and softball more accessible to kids across the Northwest called On BASE (Baseball And Softball Everywhere).

"We believe that every child should have the chance to play baseball or softball," said John Stanton, Seattle Mariners Managing Partner and Chair. "Through On BASE, we will strive to give every girl and boy in the region the opportunity to get outside and to play America's favorite sports."

On BASE will leverage new and existing partnerships to do such things as help defray registration fees, provide uniforms and equipment and offer training opportunities for youth coaches and young athletes.

Program elements include:

OnBaseA new partnership with Metro Parks Tacoma to support elementary school-based baseball and softball programs;

Equipment grants for Little League and high school baseball and softball teams in Washington;

A series of instructional clinics for youth coaches and players;

Mariners Grand Slam Camps, which offer week-long instruction in baseball/softball fundamentals and sportsmanship;

Pitch, Hit & Run, Major League Baseball's annual skills competition;

Reviving Baseball in Innercities League partnership with Rainier Vista Boys & Girls Club;

PLAY BALL, MLB's partnership with USA Baseball and the U.S. Conference of Mayors that encourages youth participation in casual as well as organized baseball and softball.

Mariners Metro Parks Tacoma Partnership

The Metro Parks Elementary Sports Program offers after-school sports at all Tacoma elementary schools. The Mariners will provide team-branded jerseys for 2,400 participants in the T-Ball, Coach Pitch, baseball and softball activities. The Mariners will contribute financial support to the Jack C. Wilson Active Kids Fund, which offers scholarships for registration fees so that all Tacoma children have access to recreation programs. The program is administered by in partnership with Tacoma Public Schools, Boys & Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound and YMCA of Pierce and Kitsap Counties.

Mariners Care Grants

The newly-created Mariners Care Equipment Donation Grant provides awards of $5,000 to up to 10 high school baseball/softball programs in the state of Washington to help pay for equipment, uniforms, field maintenance and other expenses associated with operating a successful program. The first recipients of the new grant program will be announced at a later date.

The Art Mikelsen Little League Scholarship program continues. Named for the long-time Kitsap County Little League District Administrator, the grant provides up to two awards of $5,000 each year to be used for uniforms, equipment and other program costs.

On BASE Youth Coaches/Players Clinics

A series of instructional clinics for youth coaches and players to provide tips and techniques to develop leadership as well as baseball/softball skills. The first On BASE Youth Clinic is January 25 with group and one-on-one skills instruction from Mariners catcher Mike Zunino, outfielder Mitch Haniger, outfielder Dee Gordon and infielder Ryon Healy.

The first On BASE Youth Coaches Clinic will be held at Safeco Field on January 27 with instruction from Mariners manager Scott Servais and Andy McKay, Mariners Director of Player Development. The program will focus on leadership development, as well as tips for structuring practice for players with all skill levels and techniques to promote a positive experience for players.

In addition, the Mariners will continue a partnership with the Positive Coaching Alliance to present clinics featuring Mariners coaches and PCA trainers to help youth coaches nurture personal development of young men and women as well as their athletic skills. PCA also provides online resources to coaches, administrators, parents and players focused on creating a character-building culture for youth sports.

Mariners Grand Slam Camps

In 2017, the Mariners partnered with Grand Slam Camps to provide 11 youth baseball and softball camps across western Washington. The week long baseball/softball camp for kids ages 7-14 focus on the fundamentals of the game as well as sportsmanship. In 2018, 13 Grand Slam camps will be offered, including a new location in Vancouver, Washington.

RBI, PLAY BALL, Pitch, Hit & Run

The Mariners are continuing longtime partnerships with Major League Baseball to support organized as well as casual opportunities for kids to play baseball and softball. Programs include the RBI (Reviving Baseball in Innercities program with the Rainier Vista Boys & Girls Club); Pitch, Hit & Run, MLB's annual youth skills competition; and PLAY BALL, a partnership with MLB and USA Baseball that encourages youth participation in baseball and softball.

Seattle Mariners