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Kids meet favorite players at Tigers' Play Ball

Castellanos, Jones hold kids-only press conference; young athletes play Wiffle ball at Comerica Park
MLB.com

DETROIT -- The Tigers celebrated Play Ball Weekend at Comerica Park from Friday through Sunday, with a focus on engaging youth baseball fans and celebrating youth participation in baseball and softball.

A Wiffle ball game in center field kickstarted the weekend on Friday before the Tigers opened their three-game series against the Blue Jays. JaCoby Jones and Warwick Saupold joined the fun by servicing their arms as pitchers (though both were hit hard throughout the game).

DETROIT -- The Tigers celebrated Play Ball Weekend at Comerica Park from Friday through Sunday, with a focus on engaging youth baseball fans and celebrating youth participation in baseball and softball.

A Wiffle ball game in center field kickstarted the weekend on Friday before the Tigers opened their three-game series against the Blue Jays. JaCoby Jones and Warwick Saupold joined the fun by servicing their arms as pitchers (though both were hit hard throughout the game).

Kids also got to eat lunch at the Brushfire Grill and participate in a meet-and-greet with players during batting practice.

"It was good to be out there and see the smiles on their faces," said Saupold.

A kids-only press conference was also held Friday. Jones and Nicholas Castellanos took questions about everything from what they like to eat before games to who their favorite player is from other teams.

One of the kids who got to ask a question was fourth-grader Catalina Colangelo, who confirmed rumors that Castellanos was in attendance at a nearby fair on Thursday.

"It made me a little nervous," she said about asking the Tigers players her question. "I was afraid I was going to mess up. But it was a good feeling."

Play Ball Weekend continued on Saturday, when a pregame on-field clinic was held in the afternoon for fans. The Tigers then honored the recipients of the 2018 Play Ball Sportsmanship Award by giving each winner the opportunity to participate in pregame honorary roles.

Weekend events wrapped up on Sunday with kids 14-and-under getting free rides on the carousel and Ferris wheel and having their faces painted. Kids also got to run the bases after the Tigers' game against the Blue Jays.

Tyler Fenwick is a reporter for MLB.com based in Detroit.

Detroit Tigers