Mayor Hosts Pre-Game Event, Pledges City's Support for 'Play Ball' Initiative

Communications Director

Eric Vreeland
evreeland@knoxvilletn.gov
(865) 215-3480

400 Main St., Room 654A
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Mayor Hosts Pre-Game Event, Pledges City's Support for 'Play Ball' Initiative

Posted: 08/25/2015
Mayor Rogero hosts Play Ball EventMayor Madeline Rogero has pledged the City of Knoxville to participate in the United States Conference of Mayors (USCM) partnership with Major League Baseball’s “Play Ball” initiative, which focuses on the fun nature of baseball and softball and encourages widespread participation in related activities.

During the month of August 2015, or “Play Ball Month,” mayors have been implementing the initiative throughout cities with the goal of strengthening the connection between communities and the National Pastime.

The City of Knoxville celebrated Play Ball Month with a free “Play Day” of middle school girls fastpitch softball teams at Caswell Park on Saturday, August 15. On Monday, August 24, Mayor Madeline Rogero spoke to players of Whittle Springs and Carter middle school teams in a pre-game event at Tyson Park, emphasizing the importance of the sport.

“Knoxville has personally experienced the impact that organized sports can have on a community, there’s no doubt about that,” said Mayor Rogero. “Baseball and softball instill so many important life skills in our youth that make our National Pastime worth continuing for generations to come. That’s why our Parks and Recreation staff work to offer the sport to our youth and that’s why the City of Knoxville has taken the pledge to be ‘Play Ball’ City.” 

In the past year, the City has served approximately 2,250 youth on about 185 teams in City leagues. City of Knoxville Parks and Recreation currently partners with nine recreation commissions to offer baseball and softball programs. There are over 60 ballfields within the City limits.

Mayor Rogero hosts Play Ball eventThis component of the Play Ball initiative focuses on recruiting a minimum of one city in as
many of the 50 states as possible to promote and support “Play Ball Month” through baseball related activities. Primary targets are cities with Major League and Minor League Baseball clubs, although the initiative toolkit and self-reporting strategy will be electronically distributed to hundreds of cities across the country, with the assistance of Major League Baseball.

Local leaders and citizens will report their activities to PlayBall.org via usmayors.org. PlayBall.org serves as the initiative’s online home and is accessible via MLB.com, USABaseball.com and other partner websites. Coaching tips and video demonstrations will be a prominent component of the site. PlayBall.org also provides parents, coaches and kids with information on how to get involved with Play Ball activities, links to youth-related news and events, and searchable maps with links on how to join community baseball leagues. Health and safety information, including the Pitch Smart initiative, also will be available.

For more information about the Play Ball initiative, please visit www.usmayors.org.