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Press Release

05/27/2009 2:13 PM ET
Major Leaguers recognize local student volunteers
J.J. Putz honors student leaders in national program to encourage youth volunteerism

NEW YORK -- During an on-field ceremony prior to tonight’s game, New York Mets relief pitcher, J.J. Putz, will represent all Major Leaguers when he honors 14 high school students serving as Captains of the New York Action Team®, part of the national service-learning program in which Major League players and high school students are inspiring and training the next generation of volunteers. During the 2008-09 school-year, these Action Team Captains raised awareness about the importance of community involvement among other students in their high schools and organized volunteer activities.

Administered by the Major League Baseball Players Trust and Volunteers of America, the Action Team program encourages young people throughout the United States to volunteer in their communities. To date, Action Teams of high school students and Major Leaguers have inspired more than 17,000 high school students across the country to help over 75,000 people in need by volunteering in their communities. An Action Team service-learning curriculum created by the Players Trust in partnership with The Wall Street Journal Classroom Edition teaches valuable community service skills to 700,000 high school students in more than 5,000 classrooms across the country. The Association of Educational Publishers named this innovative service-learning program a finalist for a 2009 Distinguished Achievement Award.

Receiving signed certificates of achievement from the Putz tonight are New York Action Team Captains Roberto Alcantara, Marlene Bueno, Heriberto Calderon, Carlos Collado, Jessica Garcia, James Marte, Edys Pimentel and Irvin Sanchez from High School for Arts & Business (Queens, NY) and Armando Avila, Erick Cabello, Daniel Corona, Luis Espinoza, Esteban Soler and Angel Tejada from Queens Vocational & Technical High School (Queens, NY).

Also, Luis Espinoza receives a $1,000 college scholarship from the Major League Baseball Players Trust in recognition of his dedication to community service.

Action Teams are working together in Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Maui, Minneapolis, Mobile, New York City, Oakland, Philadelphia, Portland (Maine), San Francisco, San Juan (P.R.), Santa Fe, Seattle, Tampa and Washington D.C.. Beginning in September 2009, virtually every high school in America will be able to join the Action Team by participating in a new Internet version of this unique service-learning program. Action Team applications and additional information can be received by sending an e-mail request to ActionTeam@mlbpa.org.