In 2014, I began hosting an event called Mayors’ Play Ball. Our event is part of a national program developed by Major League Baseball (MLB) and the United States Conference of Mayors. If you’ve been to one of our Play Ball events, you know it’s a community-wide celebration centered around baseball. You might ask, why baseball? To many of us, our first experience with team sports involved a baseball field. I remember standing on the diamond as a young boy. I learned the value of working with others, the importance of perseverance, and the power of leadership. I also learned that, even if you lose, you hold your head high, shake hands, and go on to try again. I look forward to hosting a Play Ball event each summer and am disappointed that, due to COVID-19, we can’t gather together this year. Our Play Ball event involves business and community leaders in activities for youth of all ages, including baseball drills, inflatable games, food, dancing, and much more, including a dunk tank. While I can’t say I’ll miss the dunk tank (that water is cold!), I will miss seeing our community come together in support of young people. Our world has changed dramatically, and more than just Play Ball has been canceled. We are returning to school virtually soon and many sports have already been and are continuing to be canceled or significantly altered, including youth baseball and softball seasons. To provide comfort during this difficult time, Major League Baseball is offering Play Ball participants a complimentary 2020 MLB.TV subscription and access to premium features on the MLB app, the official app of Major League Baseball. To receive this offer, parents/guardians must register their children for Play Ball at home. When creating your Parent Profile, be sure to check the box to receive emails from MLB.com and its partners. While this offer is available for young people ages 4-18, I know family members of all ages will enjoy gathering together to root on your favorite team (go Yankees!). I also hope you’ll Play Ball at home. Head to the MLB Play Ball website for baseball and softball drills led by players. These drills will give you a good workout and prepare you for our return to baseball and softball fields. The website also offers activities you can do at home to develop your own skills. As our city and world continue to address the coronavirus pandemic, it’s especially important we continue to engage with young people to develop their character and ensure they understand the importance of community, teamwork and sportsmanship. Please take advantage of these Play Ball opportunities. The benefits of athletics to a city and community are far reaching and can change a person’s life. We’ll be back together on the baseball diamond soon. In the meantime, please wear a mask, practice social distancing, avoid large groups and wash your hands. Stay safe so we can get back to doing the things we love. Take care of yourself and each other and PLAY BALL!
- Absentee Ballot Information from the Virginia Department of Elections
- Community COVID-19 Child Care Survey