'PLAY BALL Park' to headline All-Star youth & fan engagement in Washington D.C.

Major League Baseball today announced details for the third iteration of 'PLAY BALL Park,' a free All-Star Week attraction that will be accessible to children and families from Friday, July 13th through Tuesday, July 17th with fun, interactive baseball and softball playing activities.

July 5th, 2018

Major League Baseball today announced details for the third iteration of 'PLAY BALL Park,' a free All-Star Week attraction that will be accessible to children and families from Friday, July 13th through Tuesday, July 17th with fun, interactive baseball and softball playing activities. Special appearances -- including by Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. and Baseball & Softball Legends (Cal Ripken, Jr., David Ortiz, Jennie Finch and David Ross) -- as well as activations with local youth leagues, will be among the many featured elements of this exciting, festive environment in the backdrop of the annual Midsummer Classic. PLAY BALL Park will headline the various youth & fan engagement efforts throughout Washington D.C. during All-Star Week, which includes two new youth baseball and softball tournaments comprised of teams from MLB Youth Academies -- The All-Star Commissioner's Cup & Jennie Finch Classic.
Measuring more than 145,000 square feet, PLAY BALL Park is located at The Yards at the Capitol Riverfront (Parcel A, Lot 854 Square, located at the intersection of First and M Streets). The festive space will include a youth-sized, turf diamond featuring daily scheduled programming and open-play as well as batting tunnels, pitching inflatables, a 'Stickball Alley,' food trucks, and MLB sponsor-activation zones. Each young person who participates in PLAY BALL Park activities will receive a Franklin plastic or foam bat & ball set and a PLAY BALL-branded t-shirt. New this year is adult baseball and softball programming, which will be held in the later hours on both Friday, July 13th & Saturday, July 14th.
PLAY BALL Park is free and open to the public during the following hours, which includes noted "free play" times when there is no direct programming scheduled:
• Friday, July 13th -- 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
• Saturday, July 14th -- 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Military Families Day)
• Sunday, July 15th -- 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
• Monday, July 16th -- 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
• Tuesday, July 17th -- 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
In addition to Commissioner Manfred, Ripken, Ortiz, Finch and Ross, other special scheduled appearances at PLAY BALL Park include SiriusXM All-Star Futures players, participants in the High School Home Run Derby, members of USA Baseball & USA Softball National Teams (Men's Baseball, Women's Baseball & Women's Softball), MLB Mascots and more. Youth participants attending scheduled programming at PLAY BALL Park will include National Finalists in the Scotts MLB Pitch, Hit & Run and Jr. Home Run Derby competitions, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Chevy Youth Baseball as well as local Little Leagues, Prince George's County RBI, DC Girls Baseball and USO of Metropolitan Washington-Baltimore.
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
• USA Softball
• Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation
• MLB Sponsors
• Boys & Girls Clubs of America
• Local Community Groups & Dignitaries -- A variety of local community groups & dignitaries will be a part of the PLAY BALL Park fun, including Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department, D.C. Councilmember Charles Allen and D.C. Parks & Recreation.
• Military Families Day -- In recognition of the first-ever "All-Star Armed Services Classic presented by T-Mobile," which will be held at Nationals Park on Friday, July 13th, MLB and the Nationals will proudly host a variety of programming directed by local military-affiliated groups, which is made possible by T-Mobile.
• Positive Coaching Alliance
PLAY BALL Park will also be the starting & end points for the Color Run MLB All-Star 5K, presented by Nike on Saturday, July 14th. The Color Run MLB All-Star 5K, presented by Nike will celebrate the hero in you with brand new superhero inspired course elements like two SUPER Zones featuring double the color, new participant kit, Hero Zone, Foam Blaster area and a super-charged Finish Festival! Runners will also get to see MLB legends and team mascots at the race! The D.C. run benefits local charity, The National Cherry Blossom Festival, which celebrates spring in Washington, D.C., the gift of the cherry blossom trees and the friendship between the people of the United States and Japan. The Color Run MLB All-Star 5K, Presented by Nike, is also sponsored by the following partner companies: Church & Dwight, Gatorade, Kaiser Permanente, Nathan's Famous, T-Mobile & Utz.
Major League Baseball is also pleased to announce the launch of two new youth-oriented tournaments mostly comprised of teams from the MLB Youth Academy Network, which offer free, year-round baseball & softball instruction while also stressing the importance of continuing education and leadership within respective communities. In addition to playing tournament games throughout the D.C. area, the players will receive uniforms, equipment and game apparel from MLB. They'll also attend and participate in several MLB All-Star Week events, including GEICO All-Star FanFest, PLAY BALL Park, All-Star Sunday (SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game, Legends & Celebrity Softball Game), and the T-Mobile Home Run Derby on Monday, July 17th. In addition, the Champions of each respective tournament will receive a special trophy.
Representatives from all participating teams in the Commissioner's Cup & Jennie Finch Classic will participate in a special Opening Ceremony for PLAY BALL Park, which will also include a special screening of The Sandlot, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary with MLB in 2018. MLB sponsor, Camping World, has generously donated 150 Folding Camp Chairs for use by all in attendance of this special screening.
The inaugural All-Star Commissioner's Cup will be a competitive youth baseball tournament featuring 10 teams of youth baseball players (ages 17 and under) from MLB Youth Academies from around the country and Puerto Rico. The games will be played at both the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy and Gallaudet University, which will lodge the players throughout the tournament.
The following MLB Youth Academy baseball teams are participating in the inaugural All-Star Commissioner's Cup:
The inaugural Jennie Finch Classic, which is named after the legendary Olympian softball player, will be a competitive youth softball tournament featuring 10 teams of youth softball players (ages 17 and under) from MLB Youth Academies, MLB's Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) program, Jennie Finch programming & USA Softball. Major League Baseball, Finch, and USA Softball have closely worked to increase softball access to girls through PLAY BALL and other player development opportunities. The games will be played at both the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy and George Washington University, which will lodge the players throughout the tournament.
The following softball teams are participating in the inaugural Jennie Finch Classic:
The PLAY BALL initiative is baseball's collective effort to encourage young people and communities to engage 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, especially on key dates throughout MLB's Championship Season and through the Postseason & World Series. PLAY BALL events demonstrate the positive way the game can serve as an outlet for physical activity, fun with friends and learning how to play the sport at its most basic levels. PLAY BALL also serves as the League's youth umbrella in which all associated programs and events derive from the initiative's consistent, simple message: However You Play Ball, PLAY BALL!PlayBall.org is the PLAY BALL initiative's online home and is accessible via MLB.com, USABaseball.com, USASoftball.com and other partner websites. PlayBall.org also links to USABaseball.com, which provides players, parents and coaches with the information and resources to help with proper play and instruction. Health and safety information, including through the Pitch Smart program, also is available. In addition to flagship partnerships with USA Baseball and USA Softball, PLAY BALL is also supported by the U.S. Conference of Mayors, and MLB Corporate Partners Chevrolet, Scotts, Kingsford and Nathan's Famous.
MLB All-Star Week includes the MLB All-Star Game presented by Mastercard at Nationals Park (July 17th), Gatorade All-Star Workout Day featuring the T-Mobile Home Run Derby (July 16th), All-Star Sunday featuring the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game and All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game (July 15th), All-Star FanFest at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center (July 13th-17th) and PLAY BALL Park in The Yards at Parcel A (July 13th-17th), plus a lineup of additional events taking place around the city. The 89th 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.