Results tagged ‘ Braves ’

Jeff Porter and Jim Lovell host PLAY Clinic at Turner Field

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Atlanta Braves trainers Jeff Porter and Jim Lovell partnered with the Taylor Hooton Foundation and the Henry Schein Cares Foundation to put on the PLAY Clinic on Wednesday, July 31st. PLAY is based upon using the celebrity appeal of Major League Baseball and all of the teams and players to help fight steroid abuse and to educate the young people of America about the dangers of steroids as well as promote a healthy and active lifestyle.

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Athletes from 9 – 17 years old arrived at the ballpark bright and early and were welcomed by Jeff Porter before heading into right field to start the clinic with stretches. The boys were then broken down into two groups, the first started with fly balls in right field while the other group sat in the dugout and heard from representatives with the Henry Schein Cares Foundation. Last, but certainly not least, the boys went down into the Braves batting cages to take a few cuts.

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The players then made their way back up to the right field patio where they had lunch and heard from Jeff Porter, Jim Lovell, and special guest Evan Gattis. The kids were given the chance to ask Gattis questions ranging from what his favorite position to play was to every kid’s favorite question: “what are your superstitions?” Gattis also spoke about how important it is to work on improving with practice rather than substances that will only hurt in the long run.

Homerun Readers: The Atlanta Braves Reading Program Kicks Off With The Cat in the Hat and the National Education Association

The Atlanta Braves teamed up with the National Education Association (NEA) and the Georgia Public Library Systems for our new summer reading program, “Homerun Readers.” Kids are encouraged to read a book from a suggested list, complete a quick activity at braves.com/reading and then receive a code from their library for a free Braves ticket.

To launch the reading program, the Braves and the NEA hosted a read-in at Turner Field for 200 children prior to the Braves vs. the Arizona Diamondbacks game on Sunday, June 30.

The day started with all of the kids sitting attentively on a red carpet at Homeplate Patio where they were treated to a special reading of the Dr. Seuss classic The Cat in the Hat  by Braves alumni, Sid Bream, Terry Harper, and CJ Nitkowski.  Much to everyone’s surprise, The Cat in the Hat himself along with Dr. Seuss characters, Thing 1 and Thing 2, made a special appearance at this event as well! After the group reading, the kids split into smaller reading groups led by volunteers from the NEA.

Everyone enjoyed a nutritious boxed lunch and then watched the Braves complete a series sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks. For more pictures, check out the NEA’s article here!
[View the story "Read Across America and the Atlanta Braves" on Storify]

Atlanta Braves Inaugural Heritage Weekend


Heritage Weekend Panel DiscussionAfter hosting Major League Baseball’s Civil Rights Game in 2011 and 2012, the Braves decided to start their own tradition of honoring Atlanta’s strong and rich history in the Civil Rights Movement which has become the Atlanta Braves Heritage Weekend presented by Belk and KIA.

During the weekend of May 31st – June 2nd we hosted a series of events and activities at Turner Field including a panel discussion and luncheon on Friday, a youth skills camp, Negro League celebration, and Run DMC concert on Saturday, and exhibits from the Tuskegee Airmen and Negro Leagues the entire weekend.

Heritage Weekend Panel Discussion

On Friday, May 31st, the Braves and the National Center for Civil and Human Rights (NCCHR) hosted more than 400 people at the Champions for Justice Award Panel Discussion and Award Presentation presented by Belk. The panel discussion was moderated by Doug Shipman, CEO of NCCHR and the panelists include former Tuskegee Airman Val Archer, 1968 Olympic Gold Medalist in the 200 meter track and field event, Tommie Smith, former NBA player Bernard King and former Atlanta Brave Brian Jordan. Ambassador Andrew Young and Senator Leroy Johnson were presented with the inaugural Hank Aaron Champion for Justice Award for their involvement in the Civil Rights movement.

Heritage Weekend Panel Discussion

Washington Nationals v Atlanta Braves

Young, the former Georgia Congressman and United Nations Ambassador, has had a long-storied career as a civil and human rights advocate. He was the executive director of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, a colleague and friend of Martin Luther King, Jr., and was an integral person involved in the passage of the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act.

Washington Nationals v Atlanta Braves

Former state senator Johnson is the owner of Leroy R. Johnson & Associates, P.C., a law firm he has owned and managed for over 47 years.  Throughout his many years of practice he has represented famous entertainers like James Brown and Otis Redding and Hall of Fame Braves great Hank Aaron. He is the Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Ebenezer Baptist Church, where he has also been an active member for over 40 years. Proceeds from the panel discussion benefited the NCCHR.

Heritage Weekend Youth Clinic

On Saturday, June 1st, a free youth baseball clinic presented by Kia was held at Turner Field led by Chance Beam of the East Cobb Baseball Academy. More than 150 youth aged 8 – 12 rotated through three stations focusing on hitting, fielding, and pitching. Following the clinic they enjoyed a pizza lunch and then received tickets to Saturday night’s matchup against the Washington Nationals. The kids improved their pitching techniques in the bullpen, their hitting skills in the batting cages, and their fielding skills in right field. Each station was manned by Braves alumni and coaches from East Cobb Baseball Academy as the kids cycled through each station. These coaches had a very strict “there’s no walking on the baseball field rule” that had our group leaders racing participants from station to station.

Saturday night’s game included a special tribute to the Negro Leagues that included a pregame autograph session featuring 25 former Negro League players, an on-field presentation for those same players. Many of the players were in their 80’s and 90’s and expressed how happy they were to participate in Heritage Weekend and were excited about being honored on the field. Included in that group as was 96 year old Legend James “Red” Moore of the Atlanta Black Crackers,  Larry Williams of the Kansas City Monarchs and Ernest “Big Dog” Fann of the Birmingham Black Barons. The highlight of the ceremony was when 95 year old, Roosevelt Jackson, of the Miami Red Sox, stole the show with an impromptu dance. Not to mention, Mr. Jackson is completely blind!

Washington Nationals v Atlanta Braves

To show their respect, the Braves and Nationals both donned throwback Negro League uniforms. The uniforms were later auctioned off for charity. Those Atlanta Black Crackers uniforms really did the trick, because BJ Upton hit a walk-off RBI in the bottom of the 9th inning to end the game.

Washington Nationals v Atlanta Braves

Immediately following the game Run DMC put on a lights out show on the field in front of a packed stadium with hits including Walk This Way, My Adidas, It’s Like That, and King of Rock. This was the first time Run DMC has performed in Atlanta in 10 years and they did not disappoint.

Washington Nationals v Atlanta Braves

For more information on Heritage Weekend, visit www.braves.com/heritage and for more information on The Center for Civil and Human Rights, please visit http://www.cchrpartnership.org. A slideshow of photos from Heritage Weekend can be found below.

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Boys and Girls Club Keystone Participants Learn About a Career in Sports

On Friday, March 22nd, 45 of the brightest Boys and Girls Club members from across the country made a special visit to Turner Field for a specialized tour and panel of talented speakers. These kids came from California, Pennsylvania, Texas, North Carolina, Michigan, and even one from as far as Germany.

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We greeted two buses full of kids at 11:15 am and they were off running from there. They took a specialized tour of the ballpark that focused on pursuing a career in the world of sports. Following their tour of the ballpark, they explored the Braves Museum and Hall of Fame before heading up to the 755 Club for lunch and trivia.

Trivia was particularly competitive, as raffle tickets for autographed items were on the line! Through trivia, we learned some interesting facts about the Boys and Girls Club as well as the participants (including that one was born the same year the Braves started playing at Turner Field!)

Following trivia and lunch, the kids moved to a different portion of the 755 club for an executive panel with the brightest minds the Atlanta Braves had to offer. The questions presented by the Keystone members and Boys and Girls Club staff members allowed our executive panel to open up about how they entered the world of professional baseball and even how they overcame personal challenges to become successful.

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The best advice, in my opinion, was given by Sherry Millette – our IT wiz. She told these kids “find something you love and don’t let anyone tell you that you don’t deserve it or can’t get it.” It’s a common cliché that if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your entire life. Which prompted responses about how we are fortunate enough to work at Turner Field, we spend every work day in a baseball stadium, a place people pay to be at.

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Overall, it was an incredible event. We were pleasantly surprised at the teens’ level of interest in the organization itself as well as a career in any type of sport. It was a pleasure working with the best and the brightest of the Boys and Girls Club.

A Treat for CHOA

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Young patients from Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and their families visited Turner Field for  “Braves Night”.  Prior to the first pitch of the Braves vs. Yankees series, Atlanta Braves Tim Hudson and Matt Diaz posed for photos and signed autographs for these youngsters. Take a look at a few of the moments captured on camera!

Braves Scholars Give Back

The Atlanta Braves recently announced the recipients of the 2012 Atlanta Braves Scholarship presented by Publix Super Markets.  Six Georgia seniors received a scholarship of $2,000 and complimentary tickets to the Braves vs. Reds game where they were recognized on field prior to the first pitch.

As we reviewed the more than 1,000 applications that were submitted, we were inspired by the multitude of essays proving that the spirit of service is alive in the younger generation and that young men and women are dedicated to making a positive impact in such a variety of ways.  The following students were selected as the 2012 scholarship recipients based on their community service, essay, high school transcript, and letter of recommendation: Image

L-R: Brenda Reid, Publix Super Markets Media and Community Relations Manager; Chloe Beacham, Dawson County High School; Yeager Gaston, Lowndes High School; Hannah Grayson, Ringgold High School; Elan Joseph, Greater Atlanta Christian School; Pace Tyson, West Laurens High School; Jennifer Wang, Northview High School; Cristhian Martinez, Braves Pitcher.

 We felt inclined to promote some of the groups these Braves Scholars have become involved with in hopes of inspiring other Braves fans to find unique ways in which they can give back to their own community.  Several of these programs were created by the students themselves.  Below are excerpts from the winning essays:

Chloe: I created a group for other high school girls in my school who were suffering from Crohn`s Disease called “Crohn`s Cuties”. Together we help each other through the day and we are more comfortable in our school because of the bond we share. My attention to the needs of the students has helped my community come together and I have created a safer and more open environment in my school.

Chloe is also involved with a number of organizations including the United Community Bank of Dawsonville`s Junior Board, Senior Center of Dawsonville, and Special Olympics. She will attend Georgia College and State University.

Yeager: I am a musician and president of the Bands of Tomorrow Club at my school. One of the ways I have positively impacted my community is through the benefit concerts I have organized for families in need. I was able to persuade others in the community to pitch in. Radio stations gave us free air time for advertisement, local bands volunteered to play, and local businesses made donations to help us set up the events.

Yeager has helped the community through peer mentoring, volunteering at blood drives, and hosting multiple events to assist community members suffering hardships.  Yeager will attend the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Hannah: My sister and I and two other friends started “Kids Helping Kids-Operation School Supplies”. We collected school supplies for families in need and for our local schools. This endeavor started small but grew quickly. We collected over a two thousand school supply items. The donated items came from drop off sites we advertised and from calls from the public. We had calls for donations from all over the state and from neighboring states. With all the donations, we set up an inventory site. We then set up donation distribution sites all across the county. We donated the supplies to many families at these sites. “Kids Helping Kids” collaborated with our local Department of Family and Children Services to get the needed supplies to families.

Hannah also volunteers on a regular basis, is an active part of her youth group, and raises money each year for Relay for Life.  Hannah will attend Truett-McConnell College.

Elan: I created a program for students of immigrant families at the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.  The program was designed to encourage these students to excel in school through tutoring and mentoring.  Unfortunately, the families were not able to transport the children to and from the center after school.  The parents however did come, by public transportation, after work to the English as a second language (ESL) class.  So I decided to transition into that program.  I was happy to be a part of the lives of my students, teaching them not only English but American culture.  Increased knowledge of English not only helped the individual student, but their families as well.

Elan has traveled to multiple countries through different programs to learn about other cultures and find ways to give back to the local residents.  He will attend Columbia University.

Pace: After talking with VA officials, I learned that there was no program in place to provide furniture, appliances, clothing, dishes, cookware, blankets and other household goods when a veteran had completed a VA program in our area. I called a family friend who serves on the Department of Veterans Affairs ‘Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Homeless Veterans’. I sat down with pen and paper and created “Soldier On”, a program to benefit these men and women. A local non-profit agreed that we could become a component of their organization since our missions were similar. We challenged friends and neighbors to search their attics for items they no longer used. My Mom and I rented a storage building and began collecting items. In two and a half years we have distributed flyers, recruited 18 volunteers, secured four storage buildings, collected over $70,000.00 in goods and donations, and served 86 veterans.

Pace has been recognized by many different organizations for the efforts of “Soldier On”.  He is also very involved in performing arts, athletics, and writing groups.  He will attend Middle Georgia College.

Jennifer: My friend Cathy and I founded 121Reach Northview, a free, one-on-one tutoring organization with high school tutors and middle school students. Over the past two years, 121Reach Northview has grown from its 30 tutors and 20 tutees to 50 tutors and a limit of 50 tutees with a waitlist a mile long. Our reputation has spread quickly within the middle school, and we are trying to develop a better method for accepting students who really need the help and not those who use 121Reach as a daycare program. I have high hopes for the future, and I know I will continue to help out with the program even in college because I am excited to see it grow and mature.

Jennifer is also Co-President of Beta Club, Vice-Captain of Debate Team, and is involved in performing arts.  Jennifer will attend the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Congratulations to our Braves Scholars for leading the class of 2012 both in the classroom and in their respective communities.  These students have stepped up to the plate, shown a passion for community service, and each of them exemplifies the Braves Give values!

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