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Last week, Chevrolet and Major League Baseball (MLB) announced they are extending their partnership another five years, making this the eleventh year with Chevy as the official vehicle of America’s favorite game.
We joined Chevrolet and MLB at the Orioles-vs-Tigers game held at Camden Yards in Baltimore, Md. on May 12 to help them celebrate the announcement. Seated in a Club-level suite off the first-base line, courtesy of our hosts, we enjoyed American fare and a break in 14 straight days of rain. The game was fairly exciting for the Detroit natives in the group — at first. The Tigers were up 5-0, when all of a sudden the O’s came storming back, eventually winning the game 7-5.
Why is this partnership important?
As a 20-year player of the game of softball and a life-long baseball fan, I was particularly interested in the impact that these two groups will continue to have on young kids through the Play Ball initiative.At the recruitment of my neighborhood friends, I began playing softball when I was just seven years old (shortly after I learned I was terrible at basketball). I was instantly hooked — even if lonely in the outfield at first — and I played both competitively and for fun for as long as I could carve out the time for it. I still hope to give back to the sport through coaching kids someday.
Since 2006, more than 5 million boys and girls playing baseball and softball have benefitted from the partnership between Chevrolet and MLB. As part of the Play Ball initiative, the two parties have donated more than 90,000 equipment kits and have helped to spruce up 9,400 parks.
While MLB is the official league for baseball, traditionally a male-only sport, young girls playing softball have been impacted, too. The Chevrolet representative I spoke with conservatively estimates that about 10 percent of the program’s efforts go into all-girl softball teams like the ones I grew up participating in. Play Ball also provides coaching and resources for young girls who are playing on all-male baseball teams.
As a former athlete, I truly believe that participation in a team sport is not only important but is vital to the development of the next generation of leaders. Team sports like baseball and softball teach our kids how to cope with losing, how to be a good sport when winning, and how to work well with others and treat them with respect.
Disclaimer: Chevrolet invited us and a guest to attend the MLB game mentioned in this post. They provided our tickets, parking, and food and beverage during the event.