The Seattle Mariners today announced a long-term commitment to programs that are focused on social justice and racial equity in our community including a new Mariners Care initiative that aims to help underserved youth continue to play baseball and softball and advance their educations.
The On BASE Hometown Nine
Through the newly created program, The On BASE Hometown Nine, the Mariners commit to help kids from underserved communities of color who want to play baseball and softball from eighth grade through their senior year in high school. Each year, the Mariners will add in-coming students to the cohort.
In addition to paying all fees associated with travel/select baseball/softball training and equipment, the Mariners will provide mentorship for the students with Mariners players and Front Office staff to assist them with academic, professional and social support to help them succeed on the field and in the classroom.
The Hometown Nine aims to create a pipeline of diverse players by addressing a major barrier to elite play—the high cost associated with select baseball. By underwriting these costs, the Mariners hope to close the “play gap,” diversify high school, collegiate and professional baseball and introduce youth to positive career mentors.
Community Impact Grants
The Mariners will make annual grants to organizations that promote racial justice and social equity through policy, advocacy and community-based initiatives. Grants will be awarded annually over the next five years. Further details about the program will be announced at a later time.
Diversity Fellowship Program
The Mariners are creating opportunities for candidates of diverse backgrounds who are interested in careers in professional sports. Through the newly created Diversity Fellowship program, the Mariners commit to hiring at least two Diversity Fellows each year to work in areas such as communications, finance, legal, Information Technology and athletic training. In addition to professional experience, the Mariners will provide candidates with support and mentorship to foster their success.
Diverse Business Partners Program
The Mariners will double the team’s commitment to the Diverse Business Partners program which aims to increase opportunities for minority and women owned businesses. Each year, the Mariners spend millions of dollars through the Mariners procurement process for items ranging from bobbleheads to cleaning supplies. The goal is to double the annual spend with minority owned businesses. Major League Baseball first introduced the Diverse Business Partners program 22-years ago to cultivate new and existing partnerships with minority and women owned businesses by increasing opportunities for them to participate in the procurement activities of teams. Through this first of its kind program in professional sports, MLB has spent approximately $2 billion with diverse businesses since the program was created in 1998.
About Mariners Care
Mariners Care, the Mariners nonprofit foundation, is dedicated to empowering our diverse communities, expanding access to youth baseball and softball and promoting social justice across our region. /since 1991, when Mariners Care was established, the nonprofit has helped raise over $28 million to benefit primarily youth-oriented community service programs in the Northwest.
About On BASE
On BASE (Baseball And Softball Everywhere) is a Seattle Mariners youth baseball and softball initiative that is designed to make the sports more equitable and accessible for all young athletes regardless of any barriers they may face. Since 2018, On BASE has defrayed the cost of registration fees, awarded grants to high school baseball and softball programs in underserved communities, provided anti-bias and skills training for area coaches and offered skills-building youth clinics and camps around Western Washington.
More information about Mariners Care, On Base, The Hometown Nine and other Mariners community programs is available at Mariners.com/Community