Play Ball: Mayors Give Leg Up to Baseball Campaign

Thanks to a collaboration with the United States Conference of Mayors, more than 300 mayors in all 50 states and Puerto Rico are taking part in an ongoing campaign to support the game of baseball.

One of the great things about baseball is how the game, especially in an amateur form, can bring together a community.

And it’s with that spirit in mind that mayors around the U.S. have offered support to the national pastime.

Since 2015, the United States Conference of Mayors (USCM) has supported a program called Play Ball, which encourages long-term interest in the sport by putting on events targeted at youths.

“Mayors will engage citizens, families, and their respective city departments to organize individual and community events centered on baseball and softball,” the initiative’s website states. “These activities will not only create a renewed sense of enthusiasm for the game, but will also serve as an opportunity to strengthen family and community bonds.”

USCM has closely partnered with Major League Baseball (MLB), Minor League Baseball, and other baseball groups on the initiative, which has been gaining momentum in recent years.

Last year, the initiative drew the support of more than 250 mayors, who put on events—which were also sponsored by major league, minor league, and amateur teams—for 35,000 children around the country. This year, 304 mayors and counting are supporting the programs, and the initiative is getting additional support from Boys & Girls Clubs of America, the MLB’s official charity.

MLB Commissioner Robert D. Manfred Jr. specifically credited the mayors’ collaboration for the success of the program, which he noted now reaches all 50 states, along with Puerto Rico.

“The partnership with the U.S. Conference of Mayors is a significant factor for the success of our Play Ball initiative,” Manfred stated in a news release. “The central focus of our effort has always been to engage communities that love our game with opportunities for young people to participate in baseball and softball activities.”

This month, teams around the league have been supporting the initiative by holding an event called Play Ball Weekend. Among the 15 teams taking part are the Atlanta Braves and the Detroit Tigers.

(33ft/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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