Over the past few weeks, the Community Affairs Department has been attending the Opening Day festivities of youth baseball and softball leagues around Metro Atlanta to promote Play Ball! Atlanta.
Play Ball! Atlanta is designed to increase participation in the game of baseball and softball (and related activities) through various grassroots initiatives and show the Braves’ commitment to the community through special appearances at youth league baseball and softball games.
Braves mascot, Homer, has been on site to lead parades, pose for pictures and energize the players. The Braves B.A.T. Team, provides pitching and batting inflatables and Braves-themed giveaways. At Sharpsburg Youth Baseball, Braves alumni, Johnny Estrada, threw out the ceremonial first pitch!
At each Play Ball! Atlanta Community Stop, we host a drive for gently used baseball and softball equipment in partnership with Baseball Tomorrow Fund (BTF). BTF is a Major League Baseball initiative that supports the growth of youth baseball and softball in communities that need additional support. They provide grants for better playing fields, equipment and uniforms. Every person who donates is entered into a drawing for a chance to win Braves autographed memorabilia.
Thank you to our league hosts – Murphey Candler Little League, Kennesaw Baseball Association, North Gwinnett Baseball/Softball Association, Druid Hills Youth Sports, Sharpsburg Youth Baseball – and to all community members who have donated to the Baseball Tomorrow Fund equipment drive!
Last week, Braves staff members volunteered at the AG Rhodes Senior Health and Rehabilitation Center in Atlanta as part of a special St. Patrick’s Day Braves Care event. We played BINGO! with the residents, enjoyed St. Patty’s themed refreshments, and even sang karaoke.
After four rounds of BINGO!, we served “Shamrock Juice” (lime sherbet and Sprite) and four-leaf clover cookies to all of the residents. Each senior proudly wore their new Braves cap and green glow stick necklace/bracelet to get them in the St. Patty’s Day spirit. To close out the event, Braves staff took over the mic to sing a crowd favorite, “Shake, Rattle, and Roll,” for the group. What a fun way to spend our St. Patrick’s Day out in the community!
Braves baseball is back! We arrived early to the Atlanta Braves spring training camp at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports in Orlando, Florida to give you all of the behind-the-scenes details.
During spring training, the Braves Foundation staff works directly with your favorite Braves players to facilitate autograph signings for items that are used throughout the year to raise money for local charities. These autographed items are used in silent auctions at all Braves home games and in online auctions year-round.
Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman shared with us during his autograph signing why he feels it is important to be an active part of the community.
“I like to give back because I grew up in a family that gave back all of the time,” Freeman said. “I think it has kind of gotten instilled in me to help give back and help the community out. I have been in Atlanta for five years now, and I think it is important to help out as much as I can.”
As we secure these autographs, an MLB Authenticator applies a sticker to each item indicating that they are part of the MLB Authentication Program. A unique serial number for each items allows collectors to cross reference product against the database on MLB.
Make sure to check out our online auction going on now at www.braves.com/charityauctions to place your bid on unique memorabilia. Also, stop by one of our silent auction booths at Turner Field starting in April!
We will see you Opening Day!
Do you know a brave person who has beaten or is fighting breast cancer?
Major League Baseball and the Atlanta Braves are looking for our 2016 Honorary Bat Girl. On Mother’s Day, we will honor one (1) Braves fan who has or is currently courageously battling breast cancer. The Honorary Bat Girl program raises awareness and funds while celebrating our heroic fans.
TODAY through April 14, submit a story about how you or someone you know is “Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer” and why they deserve to be the 2016 Atlanta Braves’ Honorary Bat Girl. Once you have submitted a story, encourage family and friends to vote!
One (1) Honorary Bat Girl will be selected and invited to Turner Field for a VIP experience on Mother’s Day, Sunday May 8, for the Braves vs. Arizona Diamondbacks 1:35 p.m. game.
The winner will receive four (4) game tickets, a Louisville Slugger pink engraved bat and a commemorative jersey.
To learn more, submit a story, and to vote, visit: http://www.honorarybatgirl.com.
Today we participated in the Anti-Defamation League’s Read 4 Respect program at one of our partner schools, DH Stanton Elementary School. Read 4 Respect connects local businesses and volunteers to elementary schools by engaging them in reading books that promote respect. Read 4 Respect is a part of ADL’s nationwide campaign, No Place for Hate, and is designed to get adults and kids talking to each other about how we can put an end to name-calling and bullying—and to start that conversation at an early age.
We read stories to 3rd graders that dealt with diversity and accepting everyone despite our differences. The students learned a lot about how to respect one another and how to be an “ally” to their peers that might be experiencing bullying in the classroom.
We look forward to more fun and educational activities with the ADL as we work to make Braves Country No Place for Hate!
From winning the College Baseball World Series in a Vanderbilt jersey, being named the MVP of said series to being drafted first overall by the Arizona Diamondbacks and traded within a year to the hometown Atlanta Braves, Dansby Swanson has had a heck of a 2015/2016 year. We caught up with the future star to get his reaction to his first Braves FanFest, how it feels to be home, and what his favorite past times are. This is an inside look into Dansby Swanson!
- How was your first FanFest experience?
I thought fan fest this year was phenomenal. I’m grateful to have gotten the opportunity to represent Atlanta, and meet all of its loyal fans. It is always nice for any player get to know the people that cheer for them and vice versa.
- We know you are from Kennesaw, GA how does it feel to one day be playing for the Hometown team?
About as close to a dream come true as you can be. Being back in Atlanta, and playing for the Braves is something I grew up thinking about and wishing it would happen, now it’s here.
- How many autographs do you think you signed at FanFest?
I signed as many as I could in the time constraints that we had! It was a pleasure signing autographs for all of the fans that spent their time to come see us. I’m grateful and thankful that there were people that think enough of us to come get signatures. I’m looking forward to seeing them again!
- What do you enjoy doing when you’re not playing baseball?
I enjoy watching sports and being with my friends. I value relationships and people, and am very passionate about sports. I could talk about it all the time if other people cared to listen!
5. Who was your favorite Braves player growing up and why?
I would have to say Chipper Jones because he was the face of the Braves, and one of the all-time greats to play the game.
Well, there you have it! Be on the lookout for one of the Braves rising stars!
Braves fans all pitched in to Spread the Warmth in the Atlanta community by cleaning out their closets and donating gently used clothing and cold weather accessories to our Spread the Warmth Winter Clothing Drive!
We collected an overwhelming amount of items at Braves FanFest Saturday, which will aid hundreds of homeless men, women, and children at the Atlanta Mission during the cold winter months. Thank you, Braves Country, for always going above and beyond to make our community great!
Braves Fans! Join us as we celebrate the final season at Turner Field, during FanFest on Saturday, January 30 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Fanfest is free and open to the public.
We will be collecting items for our “Spread the Warmth” winter clothing drive to benefit the Atlanta Mission. Fans are encouraged to donate new or gently used coats, boots, gloves, scarves, hats, blankets, socks, long sleeve shirts, long pants, sweaters, umbrellas or rain ponchos. Drop off bins will be located in Monument Grove under the Braves tent and at all entry points.
FanFest activities will include:
- Player appearances
- Autograph sessions with current players, alumni, and broadcasters*
- Photo stations with current players and alumni
- Panel discussions with current players, top prospects, alumni and front office executives
- Kids’ Reading Room with a book reading by a Braves player
- Kids-only press conference
- Tours of Turner Field offered every 15 minutes
- Yard Sale featuring Braves memorabilia
*Details for each autograph session and a map of locations will be distributed to fans upon entry.
Parking is free and will be available in the Green Lot across from the main gates at Turner Field.
Please visit www.Braves.com/fanfest for more information and subscribe to this blog for more updates throughout the season.
We hope to see you at Turner Field! Go Braves!
This morning, Braves staff members volunteered at the Toys for Tots warehouse in Atlanta as part of the Braves Care initiative.
Toys for Tots is a United States Marine Corps-sponsored foundation that delivers a message of hope to less fortunate youngsters during the holidays through providing them with a new toy. We helped sort donated toys into age appropriate bins and bag them for distribution alongside local US Marines. It was definitely a fun way to spend our Tuesday, being Santa’s elves for a great cause!