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MLB.com

08/09/2005
Baltimore youth organizations to benefit from Baseball Tomorrow Fund grant
Grant provided as part of National Youth Baseball Equipment Collection Program

In support of the ongoing commitment from Major League Baseball, its Clubs and the players to increase opportunities for youth participation in baseball and softball, the Baseball Tomorrow Fund is awarding a grant for $5,000 to Baltimore Department of Recreation and Parks Leisure Services' Hit Run and Fun League. The grant is being awarded in conjunction with the national baseball equipment collection program supported by the Baseball Tomorrow Fund.

The Orioles, in conjunction with Oriole Advocates, will collect new and used equipment at Camden Yards on August 13. All collected equipment will be donated to the Servir y Jugar Program, an initiative of Peace Corps volunteers serving the Dominican Republic.

Elrod Hendricks, Baltimore Orioles Bullpen Coach and Nick Mantzouris, President, Oriole Advocates, will present a check for $5,000 to representatives from the Baltimore Department of Recreation and Parks Leisure Services' Hit Run and Fun League on behalf of the Baseball Tomorrow Fund during a pre-game ceremony at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on Saturday, August 13th prior to the Orioles game against the Toronto Blue Jays at 4:35 pm (EDT).

This marks the first year the Baseball Tomorrow Fund has teamed with Major League Baseball Clubs to augment their existing equipment collection programs and to help facilitate the creation of new programs. As part of the program, participating Clubs collect new and used equipment at their ballparks prior to a selected home game(s) and donate the equipment to a local youth baseball or softball organization chosen by the Club. In support of the initiative, the Baseball Tomorrow Fund awards a total of $5,000 to youth baseball or softball organizations in each participating market. Baseball Tomorrow Fund grants will be used to purchase new equipment for the 2006 season.

The Hit, Run and Fun League is a youth baseball league made up of 690 participants ages 12 and under that play on 42 teams and at 21 recreation centers throughout the city of Baltimore. The Hit, Run and Fun League is administered by the City of Baltimore Department of Recreation and Parks Leisure Services and has been designated by the Orioles for continued support in providing equipment and uniforms for years to come.

The Oriole Advocates Charitable Foundation, which supports leagues for the underprivileged, and the physically and mentally challenged will send all collected equipment to the Peace Corps volunteers in the Dominican Republic for distribution to the Servir y Jugar Program. Servir y Jugar serves youth from poor communities and gives them needed sports equipment in exchange for every 10 hours dedicated towards community service projects. Servir y Jugar is an initiative of Peace Corps volunteers serving the Dominican Republic that was created to stimulate an ethic of service while also providing children and youth in impoverished communities with opportunities for leadership and healthy out-of-school recreational activities.

The Baseball Tomorrow Fund, created to promote and enhance the growth of baseball throughout the world, provides funding for programs, field improvements and equipment purchases that encourage and maintain youth participation in baseball and softball. Since its inception in 1999, the Baseball Tomorrow Fund has awarded grants totaling more than $8.5 million. These grants have benefited more than 100,000 children participating in more than 170 youth baseball and softball programs across the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, U.S. Virgin Islands and Europe.

For more information about Baseball Tomorrow Fund visit: www.baseballtomorrowfund.com.