MLB serving community at FanFest
Baseball Cares booth offering safety, educational items
SAN FRANCISCO -- Fans who visit the DHL All-Star FanFest at the Moscone Center West this week can stop by Major League Baseball's Baseball Cares booth for free information and giveaways that highlight some of MLB's community outreach efforts.MLB's vice president of community affairs Tom Brasuell said the league is happy to offer these services to the community and help fans learn about its charitable efforts. "On all different levels, of all different aspects of community, children, health, families -- you name it, we're doing it and giving back to the community," Brasuell said. Jackie Robinson's daughter, Sharon Robinson, educational consultant for MLB, will visit the Baseball Cares booth for two signing sessions of her new book, "Safe at Home." Fans who attend the sessions, on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. PT and Monday from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m., will receive a free autographed copy of her book. "They can meet and talk to Sharon a little bit, she's got great stories about her dad," said Brasuell. "Especially this year -- the 60th anniversary of Jackie breaking the color barrier -- it's particularly important that we keep that legacy alive." The MLB Community Affairs department will feature a "Spin the Wheel" promotion at the Baseball Cares booth, where fans can spin for prizes from MLB, the league's official charity, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and the Giants Community Fund. In addition, each day of All-Star Week, from Friday until Tuesday, fans can take part in a variety of fun activities at the booth that are educational and safety-minded. Many of MLB's community partners will be highlighted, including the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, the Jackie Robinson Foundation, KinderVision (a partnership with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children), The Pledge (with The Partnership for a Drug Free America), TEAM (Techniques for Effective Alcohol Management), Play Smart When It Comes to the Sun, the Giants Community Fund and The Baseball Tomorrow Fund. KinderVision has partnered with MLB to provide free personal safety education videos for families. Video and voice recordings of the children are taken at the end of a 10-minute KinderVision Safety Education video, which is narrated by law enforcement personnel. Parents can take the personalized videos of their children home with them. "Their parents can use [the videos] in the unfortunate instance that [the children] are missing or abducted," Brasuell said. "It's a picture record of them, a video history, so that's a very helpful thing. Law enforcement heartily subscribes that the parents do that, so there is that video-photographic record." Children who participate in The Pledge by signing a pledge to remain drug free will receive a special baseball card.
"We will be giving out baseball cards with Derek Jeter on the front and a drug-free pledge on the back, as well as anti-steroids posters," Brasuell said.Fans can take part in TEAM's Responsibility Has its Rewards public service announcement pledge to always have a designated driver and to buckle up. When they make the pledge, fans will receive a souvenir photo and can record their own traffic safety video. "People can get a FanFest picture here at our booth, and it will have some key messages about friends who don't let friends drive while they're drunk," Brasuell said. Fans can receive free skin cancer screenings, sunscreen samples and posters as part of the Play Smart When It Comes to the Sun program, a partnership of MLB, the MLB Players Association and the American Academy of Dermatology that raises awareness about how to prevent skin cancer. Board certified dermatologists will conduct the screenings at the Baseball Cares booth. "They'll be here doing not extensive, but extensive enough [screenings] so that people can find out if they need to have follow-up [examinations] for lesions and skin cancer," Brasuell said. "Given that the majority of our fans spend a lot of time out in the sun, that's one of the key things." Visitors to the booth can also learn about the Baseball Tomorrow Fund, a joint initiative of MLB and the MLB Players Association, which promotes and enhances the growth of baseball and softball throughout the world by funding programs, field improvements and equipment purchases to encourage and maintain youth participation in the game. Fans can learn more about the Giants Community Fund as well, which supports Junior Giants summer baseball leagues in California, Oregon and Nevada. In addition to providing training, equipment, uniforms and instruction for the leagues, the Community Fund also provides health programs and violence prevention and education programs in the local area.
Christie Cowles is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.