Leadership

Minor League Baseball Initiative Puts Unity Into Community

During the past few years, the league has led the CommUNITY Initiative, a campaign that intends to encourage inclusivity and a positive community spirit in the cities and towns the league serves nationwide.

Minor League Baseball is often at the center of small communities, drawing in fans with hometown appeal.

But the key thing about community is that it’s supposed to include everyone—and that’s a point that’s very much at the center of the league’s CommUNITY Month, taking place throughout August.

For the third straight year, MiLB, its nonprofit arm MiLB Charities, and the airline Allegiant are teaming up on the initiative, which focuses on building an environment where fans can feel accepted and included, no matter who they are. Additionally, the league’s teams will be holding events designed to encourage fans to get more deeply involved in their communities. The CommUNITY Initiative was launched in 2016 in response to a variety of tragic local events over the past few years, with the goal of defusing tensions.

In a news release, Courtney Nehls, who serves as the league’s assistant director of community engagement, emphasized that the goal of the annual event is to create a moment to come together, but the league also hopes to keep that feeling going throughout the season—and outside of the stadium.

“We hope that as fans come into our ballparks to experience a game, they always feel welcome and accepted, and leave wanting to spread those feelings to their friends, family and neighbors for the betterment of the cities and towns where they live,” Nehls explained.

The league has put a strong focus on community service in recent years, teaming with the Joe Torre Safe At Home Foundation to help spread awareness about domestic violence, an initiative that concluded just last month.

On top of this, the league hands out a community service award each year, named after longtime Minor League Baseball executive John Henry Moss. This year’s winner, the Lexington Legends, offered strong support to the league’s efforts on the issue.

“Community involvement is an integral part of the Legends’ core values, and teaming up with Minor League Baseball through this important program enables us to impact even more members of the Bluegrass,” the team’s president and CEO, Andy Shea, said in the release.

(Pgiam/E+/Getty Images Plus)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. MORE

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