'PLAY BALL WEEKEND' Returns in a big way to celebrate the game all around the world

From Friday, June 10th-Sunday, June 12th, all 30 MLB Clubs, all 120 MiLB Clubs and events on all 7 continents will feature baseball & softball activities geared toward participation

June 9th, 2022

Tens of Thousands of Kids Will Be Part of this Global Effort
That is a Component of Baseball’s “PLAY BALL” Initiative (www.PlayBall.org)

“However You Play Ball, PLAY BALL!” is a tag line that will take on a whole new meaning this weekend all around the world. Major League Baseball is proud to officially announce the return of “PLAY BALL WEEKEND,” a global effort to inspire participation in baseball and softball through activities hosted by MLB & MiLB Clubs and special interest international groups beginning on Friday, June 10th and lasting through Sunday, June 12th. Below are quick snapshots of all the different ways baseball and softball will be celebrated the entire weekend:

  • All 30 MLB Clubs: Whether they are playing at home or on the road, every Major League Club will host special PLAY BALL Weekend activities in their communities and/or at their ballparks. Clubs are partnering with both local and national baseball and softball partners to incorporate programming that is uniquely suited to their markets. For a rundown of MLB Club PLAY BALL WEEKEND activities, please visit MLB.com/playballweekend.
  • All 120 MiLB Clubs: All 120 Minor League Baseball teams will participate, either in their home stadium or at a local youth field. Teams will conduct PLAY BALL clinics, Pitch, Hit & Run and Jr. Home Run Derby competitions, youth baseball and softball tournaments, and games and events involving local Challenger Baseball leagues and Miracle League programs. For all Minor League PLAY BALL WEEKEND activities, please visit this link.
  • Internationally (All 7 continents around the world):
  • Africa – On June 10, “Because Baseball,” which operates baseball programming in Egypt (including an official RBI program in association with MLB), will host Egyptian youth from Cairo to learn from a team of coaches whose experience ranges from being former pro players, coaches, MLB executives and college baseball.
  • Cory Gearrin - former pitcher whose MLB career began in 2011 with the Braves and concluded in 2020 with the Twins
  • Bobby Evans – former San Francisco Giants General Manager who visited Egypt in 2019
  • Josh Nashed – current pitching coach at St Mary’s College whose grandfather is Egyptian. Josh is already known to over 600,000 Egyptians who watched #PlayBallAtHome videos
  • Terry Johnson – 2019 Because Baseball Coaching Fellow; father of 2022 MLB Draft Prospect Termarr Johnson
  • Antarctica – The McMurdo Station, the largest Antarctic research station managed by the National Science Foundation through the U.S. Antarctic Program, will feature a “ceremonial pitch” to commemorate the Station’s annual softball tournament held in January (around New Year’s Day) when the weather is more manageable to play outside.
  • Asia – On Sunday, June 12, MLB Japan will host an event at the Meiji Jingu Rubber-ball Baseball Ground in Tokyo featuring Hisashi Iwakuma (former Seattle Mariners pitcher) and Ryota Igarashi (former pitcher for the New York Mets, New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays)
  • Australia – In conjunction with Baseball Australia, PLAY BALL WEEKEND will be celebrated in Australia with the Little League National Championships
  • Europe – MLB Europe will hold a baseball event for children in London’s Regents Park.
  • South America – In association with the Brazil Baseball Federation, a PLAY BALL event will be held at the Academia de Ibiuna- São Paulo, Brazil
  • North AmericaSee above from MLB & MiLB Club activities, which also will include significant support from the U.S. Conference of Mayors, USA Baseball & USA Softball

"PLAY BALL WEEKEND is a unique opportunity for our sport to celebrate the special bonds that baseball and softball creates with kids, families and communities, at large,” said Tony Reagins, Chief Baseball Development Officer, Major League Baseball. “Young people all around the world are passionate about baseball and softball, and this year’s festivities on every continent is a snapshot into that passion. We thank all our Major & Minor League Clubs, our players, alumni and partners who have worked closely with us to make this year’s PLAY BALL WEEKEND memorable for our next generation of ballplayers and fans.”

MLB Network’s weekly kids-focused program Play Ball debuts a new episode this Saturday, June 11 at 10:00 a.m. ET. Atlanta Braves star Ronald Acuña Jr. opens up about his custom Nike cleats, plus host A.J. Andrews interviews Clemson softball standout player McKenzie Clark. Baseball trivia and highlights from the 2022 MLB Breakthrough Series at the Jackie Robinson Training Complex in Vero Beach, FL will be featured throughout the program.

Trends Regarding Youth Baseball & Softball Participation

  • According to the latest Team Sports trends report by the Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA), baseball and softball combined to be the most participated sport in the United States among kids ages 6 to 12 with more than 6.5 million participants.
  • In four of the last six years, baseball and softball combined to be the overall most participated team sport in the U.S. (also SFIA).
  • Prior to the pandemic, casual participation in baseball increased by nearly 90% from the start of the PLAY BALL initiative 2014 (SFIA).

PLAY BALL is MLB’s signature youth engagement activity that is featured in events all around the United States and Canada. More information on the program, as well as future event updates, can be found at www.PlayBall.org. The PLAY BALL initiative is baseball’s global 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 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.