PLAY BALL Weekend

2024 Recap

Nearly 400 children ages 7 to 14 years old and their families flocked to the P&G MLB Cincinnati Reds Youth Academy on June 14 for the annual Pitch Hit & Run competition.

It was an excellent turnout after the event received over 500 registrations. Hosted by the Reds and Reds Community Fund as part of PLAY BALL Weekend, the skills contest measures how fast an athlete can run, how far they can hit a ball and how accurately they can throw. Pitch Hit & Run is an extension of PLAY BALL Weekend, MLB’s league-wide initiative that seeks to increase participation in baseball and softball among all ages, with a primary focus on youth.

“This weekend is a huge opportunity for cities like Cincinnati to enjoy that partnership and encourage our kids and our youth to get outside to improve their mental health but also, their physical health,” Cincinnati Mayor Aftab Pureval said. “To really teach them good practices about healthy playing, and how to consistently do that into their adulthood, to continue to prioritize their health. There’s no doubt that there’s challenges for our kids getting outside, whether it’s a lack of green space, whether it’s a lack of access.”

Even though the young athletes were competing, they cheered each other on from the dugout, danced along to the DJ together and shared a Kona Ice or two. It was a pure celebration of baseball, softball and Cincinnati.

The Reds Youth Academy provided the perfect space for the event. Festivities weaved through the indoor and the outdoor fields to provide comfort for all participants.

Great American Ball Park will host one of the Pitch Hit & Run regional finals later this season, and the top performers from those competitions across the country will receive all-expenses-paid trips to compete at the Finals held during the 2024 World Series.