Seattle Mariners fans are encouraged to bring new and gently used baseball and softball equipment to Safeco Field on Saturday, June 28, when the Mariners take on the Cleveland Indians (7:10pm start) for donation to the Rainier Vista Boys & Girls Club of Seattle.
The equipment drive is part of the project known as the Baseball Tomorrow Fund, a cooperative effort by Major League Baseball, individual teams and the Major League Baseball Players Association. The donated equipment and a $5,000 cash grant will be made to the Rainier Vista Boys & Girls Club in the name of Mariners outfielder James Jones, who is the Mariners Baseball Tomorrow Fund Ambassador. Jones and a Baseball Tomorrow Fund representative will present the check to Rainier Vista during a pregame ceremony on Saturday.
Volunteers will be outside the gates of Safeco Field beginning at 5pm on June 28, to accept donations of new and gently used gloves, balls, bats, and other baseball and softball equipment. Cash contributions will also be accepted.
This year marks the 10th season the Baseball Tomorrow Fund has teamed with Major League Baseball Clubs on the equipment collection program. Last year, 31 organizations from Major League markets were awarded a grant for the purchase of equipment or uniforms for youth baseball/softball leagues.
The success of this program has grown throughout the years as 95% of MLB teams participate in Equipment Day and continue to support the growth of baseball and softball. To date, over 100,000 pieces of equipment and approximately $1.6 million in total monetary donations have benefited organizations in need.
"As we celebrate the 10th season of the Equipment Day initiative, we are thrilled to see the program continue to grow and expand in its impact," says Cathy Bradley, Executive Director of the Baseball Tomorrow Fund. "The Clubs, players, and fans are an essential part of the program's success in giving more children in our communities access to baseball and softball."
The Rainier Vista Boys & Girls Club administers the Seattle Reviving Baseball in Inner-Cities program which provides the opportunity for boys and girls to play baseball and softball at no charge.
About the Baseball Tomorrow Fund
The Baseball Tomorrow Fund (BTF) is a joint initiative between the Major League Baseball Players Association and Major League Baseball designed to promote the growth of youth baseball and softball throughout the world by awarding grants to support field renovation and construction projects, equipment and uniform purchases, coaches training material and other selected program expenses. Since its formation by MLB and the MLBPA in 1999, BTF has awarded more than 770 grants totaling $26 million to non-profit and tax-exempt organizations in the U.S., Canada, Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe, Africa and Asia. Approximately 330,000 youth players have benefited from programs and facilities supported by the fund. BTF also facilitates league-wide initiatives including the collection and distribution of new and gently used equipment to organizations in need as well as field maintenance education clinics. For more information, visit baseballtomorrowfund.com and follow BTF on Facebook, Twitter and MLBlogs.