Thousands of local competitions will be held across the U.S. and Canada this spring, summer and fall; community youth leagues and leaders encouraged to host local competitions and register via official event sites on MLB.com
Major League Baseball will give children, ages 7-14, the opportunity to be part of the Fall Classic with the Finals for both MLB Pitch, Hit & Run presented by MLB Network and Jr. Home Run Derby presented by @MLBDevelops scheduled to take place at the 2021 World Series in October. Finalists for various age groups in both youth skills competitions, which are open to both girls and boys who play any level of baseball or softball, will be determined by thousands of local and regional competitions across the United States and Canada this spring, summer and fall.
Local youth baseball and softball leagues, as well as individual community youth organization volunteers or leaders, are eligible to host competitions in their towns and cities by registering at either official event site, which can be accessed through PlayBall.org. LeagueApps, MLB’s youth baseball and softball digital partner, will provide its multi-platform technology to help securely collect and organize registration data for both competitions. MLB will provide an official kit to all hosts for ease of set-up, while MLB Network will support both programs within its studio programming and across its social media platforms
“Pitch, Hit & Run and Jr. Home Run Derby have been important parts of our mission to provide fun and rewarding experiences for youth to participate in baseball and softball,” said Tony Reagins, Chief Baseball Development Officer, Major League Baseball. “There is no greater platform in our sport than the World Series. The journey to get there can start in literally any community in our country. Running a competition is free and easy – and we encourage youth organizations, baseball & softball leagues, and community leaders to register to host an event to give their kids a chance to attend the Fall Classic.”
The Finals for the 25th annual Pitch, Hit & Run presented by MLB Network will include the top three baseball and softball participants from four age divisions (7-8, 9-10, 11-12 and 13-14). In 2019, more than 625,000 youth from the U.S. and Canada participated in more than 4,500 competitions. For more information on registering as a participant or becoming a local host, please visit Pitch, Hit & Run.
The Finals of the fifth annual Jr. Home Run Derby powered by @MLBDevelops will feature 16 young sluggers who have advanced from regional competitions. In 2019, more than 1,500 local competitions were held across the United States. For more information on registering as a participant or becoming a local host, please visit Jr. Home Run Derby.
J.P. Crawford of the Seattle Mariners, Joey Gallo of the Texas Rangers, Eric Hosmer of the San Diego Padres, and Rhys Hoskins and Andrew McCutchen of the Philadelphia Phillies are all Pitch, Hit & Run competition alumni. The overall number one picks in both the 2019 and 2020 MLB Drafts Adley Rutschman (Baltimore Orioles) and Spencer Torkelson (Detroit Tigers) are also alumni of the program.
Both competitions are part of the PLAY BALL initiative, which is baseball’s collective effort to encourage young people and communities to engage in baseball- or softball-related activities, including formal leagues, special events and casual forms of play. PLAY BALL events have become MLB’s signature youth engagement activity during the baseball and softball calendar, demonstrating the positive way the game can serve as an outlet for physical activity, fun with friends and learning how to play the sport at its most basic levels. PLAY BALL also serves as the League’s youth umbrella in which all associated programs and events derive from the initiative’s consistent, simple message: However You Play Ball, PLAY BALL!
PlayBall.org is the PLAY BALL initiative’s online home and is accessible via MLB.com, USABaseball.com, USASoftball.com and other partner websites. PlayBall.org also links to USABaseball.com, which provides players, parents and coaches with the information and resources to help with proper play and instruction. Health and safety information, including through the Pitch Smart program, also is available. In addition to flagship partnerships with USA Baseball and USA Softball, PLAY BALL is also supported by the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Minor League Baseball, Little League International, and MLB Corporate Partners Chevrolet, Scotts and Kingsford.
COURTESY MLB & MLBpressbox.com