Every year around Mother’s Day, Major League Baseball celebrates baseball fans that have been affected by breast cancer and are determined to defeat the disease. Joan Dumas, the Atlanta Braves Honorary Bat Girl, was recognized at the game on Friday, May 17th.
Joan was nominated by her best friend, Mollie Morris, for her unfailing faith and determination to conquer cancer. She eloquently described Joan’s strength through not one, but two separate battles with breast cancer. Joan never gave up and this past Mother’s Day she was able to celebrate her last radiation therapy and being cancer free once again.
As the Atlanta Braves Honorary Bat Girl, Joan was given a personalized jersey and the opportunity to be the Honorary Team Captain for that night’s game against the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Honorary Team Captain goes out onto the field for the pregame lineup card exchange with both team managers and umpires. Joan was joined by her two sons, her best friend Mollie, and two of her grandchildren.
To learn more about Joan, please watch the interview below with Fox Sports’ Elizabeth Moreau:
The Atlanta Braves have teamed up with Daniel H. Stanton Elementary school for a long-term partnership to help improve reading performance, decrease absenteeism, increase parent participation and encourage physical activity among students.
On Friday, May 10, we welcomed D.H. Stanton’s 5th grade class to Turner Field for their “senior trip.” The visit was an opportunity to celebrate an outstanding school year and congratulate the students as they head off to middle school. The students were treated to a special behind-the-scenes tour of the entire stadium, created Mother’s Day cards, took group pictures and then enjoyed a picnic lunch at Sky Field.
During their tour, the students had a chance to see inside a luxury suite, sit in the press box, and peek into the Braves clubhouse. After the students saw into the clubhouse, they walked down the same tunnel as the umpires and sat in the visitors’ dugout. After spending a little over an hour on the tour (and walking a little over a mile!), the students visited the Atlanta Braves Museum and Hall of Fame – exploring all of the exhibits and watching historical film.
Following the tour and museum visit, they trekked back up to Sky Field, which is located at the very top of the stadium, to create home-made cards for their moms. After an half an hour of arts and crafts, lunch was served and the kids headed back to school – just in time for dismissal.
The Atlanta Braves are proud to partner with D.H. Stanton Elementary and hope to see many more fifth graders on their way to middle school!
On Saturday, May 4th, it was raining so hard that the game between the Mets and Braves had to be postponed, but that did not stop 40 Jr. Braves coaches from The Boys & Girls Clubs, RBI, LEAD, and the YMCA. The session was led by Will Jackson of the Positive Coaching Alliance. Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) is a national non-profit with the mission to provide all youth and high school athletes a positive, character-building youth sports experience.
Jackson is a graduate of Davidson College and served as a teacher, coach, and athletic director at Atlanta area high schools, both public and private, for over 40 years. His coaching emphasis was in baseball and football, with four state championships on the diamond and two state championships on the gridiron. He taught various levels of psychology before becoming involved with the Positive Coaching Alliance in 2005.
The presentation was very impressive. Will Jackson stressed that the moral isn’t that winning isn’t important, because winning is important, but that you can’t win every game. The purpose of positive coaching is to take a loss or a mistake and find a way to use that to improve for the next game. The aspect of his presentation that stood out most, was that your ratio of encouragement to criticisms should be 5:1 – and even that one criticism should be constructive.
Everyone has a coach who stands out and has made an incredibly positive and lasting impression on their lives. Several members of our department had coaches that made a difference in our lives:
“Coach Mike Jolly was my first ever lacrosse coach. I had recently been cut from the high school baseball team and he told me to try lacrosse. He took me into the gym and taught me the basics of throwing and catching. That day completely changed my life. Not only did he work with me on lacrosse but he taught me life lessons and how to handle different situations the next 4 years of high school. I first met him in 2001 and he has been helping me ever since including a difficult time in 2010. I think the fact that after 2005 he has had no responsibility to me whatsoever and he still calls to check in to see how I am doing really sets him apart from every coach out there.” Steve Timmreck – Community Affairs Coordinator
“Most of the time, when you hear about the coach who was hardest on you or who you didn’t enjoy playing for, it’s your parent. Parents tend to be harder on their own kids so that everyone else doesn’t scream favoritism, and they always want their kids to do well. My father was hands down the best coach I ever had. He worked nights – so he would take off work in order to coach my softball (and briefly basketball…) teams. It meant the world to me, because I always knew he was being hard on me so that I would be better and it was something that we had in common so I always knew that I would get to spend time with him during games or practice.” Kasey Decker – Community Affairs Trainee (and blogger!)
For more information on the Positive Coaching Alliance, please visit their website here or check out their mini-documentary below.
On Tuesday, April 2nd, the Atlanta Braves hosted an advance screening of the JACKIE ROBINSON biopic “42 – The True Story of an American Legend”.
“42” tells the story of two men—the great Jackie Robinson and trailblazing Brooklyn Dodgers GM Branch Rickey—whose brave stand against prejudice forever changed the world by changing the game of baseball.
A pre-screening reception was held at Strip Atlantic Station and the movie was shown across the street at the Regal Theatre Atlantic Station. Over 350 guests including Braves players, coaches, alumni, community leaders, and dignitaries were greeted by the Braves Heavy Hitters drum line, Tomahawk Team, Homer, and baseball players from Sandtown Little League.
Following the reception, the guests made their way into the theatre to hear Atlanta Braves President John Schuerholz present the opening remarks before the movie aired. Schuerholz spoke about the historical significance of Jackie Robinson breaking the Color Barrier and the Inaugural Atlanta Braves Heritage Weekend which will take place May 31 – June 1 during the Braves series with the Washington Nationals.
Following the screening, 11 Alive anchor Karyn Greer facilitated a conversation with Hank Aaron and former Braves outfielder Brian Jordan. They touched on Hank Aaron’s friendship with the late Jackie Robinson, the importance of Robinson’s legacy in baseball today, and their efforts to involve more African-American children in baseball.
As we celebrate Jackie Robinson Day at Turner Field, on Tuesday, April 16th we will honor his legacy and we hope that you will support “42 – The True Story of an American Legend.”
“42 – The True Story of an American Legend”. The film opens nationwide on Friday, April 12th.
For more pictures from the event, visit the gallery here!
We have a great deal of exciting events and programs planned for this season, and can’t wait to provide our fans with a behind-the-scenes look at the Braves Foundation and our work in the community! Keep an eye out this month for tales from the 2013 Braves Country Caravan Community Stops including visits to the Clay National Guard Center, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, and more!
We will also have a monthly update on our Braves Care program. For those of you new to the Braves Give Blog, Braves Care program is an employee volunteer initiative that allows us to support both our community and our charitable partners. It allows our staff to get out in the community and make a difference.