June 9th, 2022
Play Ball Weekend will be celebrated in every Major League and Minor League market in baseball from June 10-12, with events taking place in more than 150 communities throughout the country. Here is a rundown of how clubs are celebrating the game and encouraging kids to play ball.
AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST
Blue Jays: The club will host three free youth baseball clinics in Toronto for kids ages 8-12: Saturday at Christie Pitts Park from 9 a.m. ET to noon and 1-4 p.m., and on Sunday at Scarborough Village Park from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Participants will receive a Blue Jays hat, T-shirt and digital baseball skills manual.
Orioles: The Orioles will partner up with the Frederick Keys, their former affiliate now part of the MLB Draft League, in hosting youth softball and baseball players for a clinic in Frederick, Md., on Saturday from 10-11:30 a.m. ET. Children ages 5-12 will be able to learn baserunning, hitting, fielding and throwing from former Orioles players, and also meet The Oriole Bird mascot. The club hosted their first event with current Oriole Dillon Tate this past weekend at a school in Baltimore City and has been taking collections for new or lightly used baseball equipment around Camden Yards.
Rays: The Rays will host two free Play Ball events for kids 14 and under on Saturday and Sunday featuring instructional clinics, scrimmage games and other family-friendly activities. Saturday’s event begins at 11 a.m ET with a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new multipurpose field at the West Tampa Little League, ready to use for baseball and softball. Rays players Tyler Glasnow and Brandon Lowe are expected as the club presents grants to Friends of Tampa Recreation and West Tampa Little League. Sunday’s event begins at 2 p.m., and the club will present grants to the city’s parks and recreation department and Fossil Park Youth Baseball & Softball, and the Rays’ game at Minnesota (scheduled for 2:10 p.m.) will be broadcast during the event. For more information and for registration links, visit here.
Red Sox: The Red Sox will host two Play Ball events in Boston suburbs this weekend. On Saturday, they will provide entertainment for the Miracle League in Acton, Mass. The Miracle League is a nonprofit, all-volunteer, organization that gives children with disabilities a chance to play baseball as part of an organized league at no cost. Wally and Tessie, the team’s two mascots, will attend and play. There will be a live DJ, pizza party, cornhole, Jenga as well as face painters and balloon artists — all for free. Sunday, the activities shift to Lawrence, Mass., where a new RBI program was launched this season. There will be baseball clinic stations, plus a live DJ, time with Wally and Tessie, cornhole, Jenga and free Franklin bat and ball sets for all participants. You can register for Sunday’s event here.
Yankees: The Yankees will invite participants of the NYPD Blue Chips program to Yankee Stadium for a special youth parade and pregame ceremony ahead of Saturday night’s game vs. the Cubs (scheduled for 7:15 ET). Established last year, Blue Chips is a co-ed mentorship program that uses sports and education to strengthen bonds between NYPD police officers and NYC youth. In the city-wide summer softball program for youth ages 12-17, 800-plus local kids compete during weekend tournaments, representing police precincts from each borough, and meet with NYPD personnel during the week to foster their personal development and learn about neighborhood safety. In further recognition of Play Ball Weekend, the first 5,000 guests 14 and younger at Saturday’s game will receive a Yankees arm sleeve.
AMERICAN LEAGUE CENTRAL
Guardians: The Guardians are excited to have youth baseball and softball ambassadors for the first time this season. Josh Naylor, Jos? Ram?rez, Franmil Reyes and Myles Straw have already begun connecting with local youth in the Cleveland area and will do so beyond this weekend. The team is hoping this outreach will encourage kids to partake in its Play Ball Weekend giveaway, as the first 1,000 kids to RSVP using the link here by 9 a.m. ET on Sunday will receive a free Play Ball bat and ball set along with two free tickets to the series finale against the A’s this weekend.
Royals: The Royals are hosting the 2022 National PLAY Campaign Thursday afternoon at Kauffman Stadium in conjunction with the Taylor Hooton Foundation and Henry Schein Cares Foundation to educate area youth about the importance of leading healthy and active lives. Royals reliever Jake Brentz and outfielder Edward Olivares, along with the club’s athletic training staff, will welcome kids to the ballpark for a few hours of fun and learning, raising awareness about healthy lifestyles and disability inclusion. The Royals will also have a Play Ball clinic at a youth baseball field in Liberty, Mo., on Saturday morning.
Tigers: The Tigers will host a Pitch, Hit & Run competition on Friday with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan, followed by a Detroit PAL-Tiny Tigers mini-tournament and Rosedale Park Little League games on Saturday. On Sunday, the Tigers will welcome 1,000 kids and their parents for their Little League Takeover at Comerica Park for the 1:40 p.m. ET game against the Blue Jays.
Twins: The Twins will host Play Ball clinics aimed at teaching baseball fundamentals in North Minneapolis on Friday and Pine City, Minn., on Saturday, before they host a Pitch, Hit & Run competition on Saturday and also highlight girls and women in baseball and softball with the Baseball For All Toni Stone Invitational on Saturday. They’ll wrap up the weekend by partnering with Special Olympics Minnesota for a clinic centered around athletes, volunteers and participants with intellectual disabilities.
White Sox: The White Sox will host a family-friendly tailgate in the Guaranteed Rate Field Gate 5 Plaza prior to the series finale played against the Rangers on Sunday (first pitch at 1:10 p.m. CT). Any family attending can stop by for entertaining tailgate activities, including hitting and pitching games, balloon and caricature artists, and more. The first 1,000 fans to RSVP their child using the link at the Play Ball page will be able to redeem a free Play Ball plastic bat and ball set at the tailgate. You must provide your name and redemption email to the employees distributing bats outside Gate 5 to claim the item, although the bat can’t be brought into the stadium. The event runs from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
AMERICAN LEAGUE WEST
Angels: The Angels are hosting a free youth baseball and softball clinic at the Great Park Baseball Stadium in Irvine, Calif., on Saturday. Up to 1,000 participants ages 5-13 will take the field alongside Angels players, alumni, coaches and volunteers for hitting and fielding drills, as well as instruction on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Participants will receive an Angels hat, game tickets and a plastic bat and ball set. There are four sessions, each two hours long, starting at 9 a.m. PT (ages 5-9), 11 a.m. (ages 10-13), 1 p.m. (ages 5-9) and 3 p.m. (ages 10-13).
Astros: The Astros and the Astros Youth Academy will host baseball and softball clinics at select Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Houston on Friday. They will also celebrate Play Ball Weekend at Minute Maid Park by featuring local youth baseball and softball leagues before and during the games all weekend long.
A’s: Throughout the summer, the A’s encourage kids and families to get out and take advantage of opportunities to play ball throughout the East Bay area. On Saturday, they will host a Diamond Days event at the Coliseum from 10 a.m. to noon PT full of free, family-friendly baseball and softball activities for kids ages 4-18.
Mariners: The Mariners will host 1,000 families for a special Little League party on Sunday ahead of their game against the Red Sox (first pitch at 1:10 p.m. PT). There will be a rooftop boardwalk, baseball activities in the Kids Play Area, a speed pitch machine, photo stations, free ice cream sandwiches, Mariners giveaways and a special appearance by the Mariner Moose. Registration for the event is closed and at capacity.
Rangers: The Texas Rangers will host several events for the Play Ball Weekend at both the Texas Rangers Youth Academy and Globe Life Field, as well as various other events across North Texas. During regular 9U and 12U summer programming on Friday, Rangers mascot Captain will make a special appearance at the West Dallas facility to distribute Play Ball gear to athletes attending baseball and softball training.
On Saturday, Rangers RBI baseball and softball will play a full slate of games from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. CT at the Youth Academy fields. Rangers alum and Bally Sports Southwest broadcaster Steve Buechele will toss the ceremonial first pitch and will also stand in as the first-base coach for both teams. Meanwhile, the MLBPAA will host a free clinic at the Youth Academy’s indoor field and facility. The weekend will conclude with a free clinic at Globe Life Field on Sunday from 3-5 p.m. Athletes ages 6-14 can participate in various baseball activities with help from Rangers alumni and Captain.
NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST
Braves: The Braves will present Wiffle balls and bats to the first 3,000 kids who attend Sunday’s game against the Pirates at Truist Park (first pitch at 1:35 p.m. ET). Fans can play Stick Ball in Power Alley in The Battery Atlanta (near Goldbergs) from 2-3:30 p.m. on Saturday and from 11:30-1:30 a.m. on Sunday. Also kids will have a chance to ask questions when Marvin Freeman and Terry Pendleton participate in a Q&A at the Georgia Power Pavilion at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday.
Marlins: The Marlins’ weekend events will begin from 9-10:30 a.m. ET on Friday at KIPP Miami, where kids will learn the fundamentals of baseball and softball. Each participant will receive a bat and ball set as well as a branded water bottle. From 1-3:30 p.m., there will be a similar event at Curtis Park for the City of PAL (Police Athletic League). On Saturday, RBI baseball and softball games will take place throughout Miami-Dade and Broward counties. The Play Ball Summer Bash will occur from 5-7:30 p.m. at Grapeland Park, where guests will be introduced to the fundamentals of the game and enjoy music, food trucks and additional play activities. On Sunday, the Pitch, Hit & Run competition will happen from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. at Suellen H. Fardelmann Cooper City Sports Complex. The free event is for boys and girls 7-14 years old and consists of a series of movements that are important in baseball and softball.
Mets: The Mets will host an equipment donation drive at the Greater Allen AME Cathedral of New York in Jamaica, Queens, from 10 a.m. to noon ET on Saturday. Those who attend will receive the opportunity to receive additional benefits from MLB and the Mets including a complimentary 2022 MLB.TV Yearly subscription, exclusive access to virtual and in-person youth softball and baseball programming, and discounts on MLB merchandise and equipment. Additional information is available to registrants who use this link.
Nationals: The Nationals will host the Play Ball and Summer Reading Event at Walker Mill Regional Park (Capitol Heights, Md.) on Saturday in partnership with the Prince George’s County Memorial Library System and Prince George’s County Department of Parks and Recreation. In addition to baseball and softball activities, the day also will include a book reading with a Nats player. Those who attend will receive a bat, ball and baseball-themed book. Check-in opens at 9 a.m. ET and the event begins at 10 a.m.
Phillies: The Phillies will host Pitch, Hit & Run on Saturday from 8 a.m.-11 a.m. ET at Penn Academy Fields in Philadelphia. They are hosting their youth softball and baseball clinics on Saturday, too. They run from noon to 2 p.m. at Penn Academy Fields. The clinics cover hitting, fielding, baserunning and more. Instructors include Phillies alumni, Phillies ballgirls and Phillies youth baseball and softball development staff.
NATIONAL LEAGUE CENTRAL
Brewers: Brewers alumni, local high school baseball players and coaches will host a free clinic from 9-11 a.m. CT on Saturday at Baran Park, 2600 S. Chase Ave., in Milwaukee. The organizers will lead five stations: Agility, baserunning, home run derby, popups and grounders, and a bat and ball game. On top of perfecting their skills, families can enjoy light food and beverages, and there will be photo opportunities with Brewers mascots and alumni. Registration for the event is full.
Cardinals: The Cardinals Play Ball event, presented by Nike, will take place from 9:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. CT both on-field at Busch Stadium and at Ballpark Village. Kids ages 8-13 will have the chance to participate in one of two on-field clinics taught by Cardinals alumni, while kids ages 3-7 will have an opportunity to run the bases at Busch Stadium. All participants can engage in other fun activities at Together Credit Union Plaza in Ballpark Village, plus all participants will receive a Play Ball bat and ball set and two tickets to the Cardinals game on either Friday or Sunday. Registration for the event is closed and at capacity (it was free to register).
Cubs: The Cubs will host a youth baseball and softball festival at Gallagher Way on Sunday from 2 p.m.-4 p.m. CT. Participants will receive a complimentary Cubs Play Ball plastic bat/ball set and squish baseball and be able to participate in activities like running the bases, taking swings in the batting tunnel and meeting Clark the Cub. For more info, visit here.
Pirates: The Pirates will have events on Saturday and Sunday for Play Ball weekend. On Saturday, the Play Ball experience will be part of Pittsburgh’s Juneteenth Youth Sports Festival at Mellon Park. On Sunday, the Pirates will host a clinic at PNC Park for kids ages 5-14 who are looking to learn the game of baseball.
Reds: All three days will feature USA Softball C-Metro Tournament at the Reds Youth Academy and at Landen Deerfield Park. One of Friday’s games at the academy will feature a special Play Ball takeover game, including the Reds Rally Pack and mascots. Saturday will also have a tournament in Xenia at Evans Acres Sports Complex. The Reds will also host events at local Knothole league games at Oakley and Lunken fields. The weekend will be concluded with the Reds hosting a local Pitch, Hit & Run event.
NATIONAL LEAGUE WEST
D-backs: Three years ago, the D-backs launched the immersive D-backs Girls Play Ball presented by Chase, a free baseball outreach initiative for girls that promotes empowering girls and young women to get involved in the sport of baseball. On Saturday, as part of Play Ball Weekend, the D-backs will host a free baseball clinic for girls up to age 14 at Chase Field. Gates open at 8 a.m. MST, and the clinic will run from 9 a.m. to noon. Each girl will receive a glove, cap, T-shirt, backpack and tickets to a game.
Dodgers: On Saturday, the Dodgers will host a free baseball clinic for kids ages 5-13. The kids in attendance will be taught by instructors from the LA Dodgers Training facility and some Dodgers alumni. All participants will receive a Play Ball bat and ball set. They will also take home two free tickets to an upcoming Dodgers game.
Giants: The Giants will host three free youth baseball clinics for kids ages 5-13: Saturday at Dickey Park in Fresno from 10-11 a.m. PT; Saturday at 225 S Jackson St. in Red Bluff from 10-11 a.m. PT; and Sunday at Oppio Park in Sparks, Nev., from 11 a.m. to noon PT.
Padres: On Friday, the Padres visit Perkins Elementary School, where they will host a free youth baseball clinic for under-served kids and an assembly featuring a Q&A with Padres players. On Saturday, the Padres will team up with Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton to host a baseball and softball clinic. All participating kids at both events will receive two tickets to a Padres game later in the 2022 season.
Rockies: The Rockies will host a free Play Ball baseball and softball clinic at Coors Field on Saturday, after the team’s annual Home Run 5K. Participants under age 18 will cycle through five skill-building stations, where they’ll practice hitting, fielding, pitching, agility and baserunning. There will be free parking in game-day areas, and each participant will receive a free bat and ball set.