Southern and MLB Players Alumni launch initiative
April 7, 2007
Baton Rouge, LA -- The Southern University Baseball Office and The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association (MLBPAA) are embarking on a new initiative to expand the involvement in baseball of underprivileged athletes nationwide and for a series of fund raising opportunities to help the Jaguars Baseball Program. Funded by last November’s Bringing Back Baseball fundraising dinner, the MLBPAA and Southern University are again joining forces to bring a Legends for Youth Baseball Clinic to Baton Rouge on April 21. Former Major League players will take the field to share their experiences and knowledge of the game of baseball with local Baton Rouge youths. This event is free of charge and is open to the first 200 children.
"Baseball is America's game and it is unfortunate that all of America is not currently playing it", says Geoff Hixson, Vice President of Special Events for MLBPAA.
"They (MLBPAA) saw this as a critical need because what has taken place in baseball -- the lack of underprivileged children playing baseball," says Southern University head baseball coach, Roger Cador.
"We want to spearhead this effort, because I want this relationship to foster all kids, I want to help support all kids", adds Cador.
"We hope to develop a relationship with MLBPAA that will last for many years, and at the same time be a source for resources both informational and monetarily. They could come in and help us raise money for the program, and maybe down the road even help the entire athletic department", says Cador.
"Billy North (former Oakland A's star) was instrumental in getting this relationship started. He is very active in the MLBPAA. One of our player's fathers has a wonderful working relationship with Billy and we saw a need for some things for our program. We talked about some things, and Billy North spearheaded me getting in touch with Geoff Hixson at MLBPAA", adds Cador.
"The mission of the Major League Baseball Players Alumni is to promote the sport of baseball and raise money for charities nationwide. This new program will carry a heavy focus on increasing participation of underprivileged kids in baseball, not only in Louisiana, but nationwide. In addition, SU and the MLBPAA will partner on a fundraiser for the Southern baseball team to not only raise funds for the program, but to attempt to raise the visibility of the new initiative," says Hixson. "The scope of what we can accomplish together is limitless. We are excited to take the first step and start the partnership."
The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association (MLBPAA) was formed in 1982 in order to promote the game of baseball, raise money for charity, inspire and educate youth through positive sport images and protect the dignity of the game through former players. Alumni members understand that as one of only 6,940 living major league players they belong to a select group that has the unique ability to advance and encourage the sport of baseball and the values associated with the game. A non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization, the MLBPAA became a place where a player's drive for excellence and achievement on the field could continue long after he took his last steps off the diamond. Many of the game's leading players gravitated to the Alumni Association. Members include Hall of Famers, All-Stars, Cy Young Award winners and Gold Glove Award recipients.
Headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado membership in the MLBPAA has climbed to 4,468, of which, approximately 2,700 are former major league players, and 870 are current players. The remainder of membership is comprised of minor league players, umpires, managers, coaches, front office personnel, media and fans. The MLBPAA is headed by President Brooks Robinson with Bob Boone, George Brett, Chuck Hinton, Mike Hegan, Robin Yount, Rusty Staub, Carl Erskine and Al Kaline as Vice Presidents.
Former Major League players hoping to give back to the game find the Alumni Association to be a vital, constructive instrument that provides a vehicle for them to be involved in charitable and community causes nationwide.