Royals alumni and Mayor Sly James will be at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum on Sunday for Play Ball KC, an event joining Kansas City with a national initiative of Major League Baseball and the U.S. Conference of Mayors to strengthen youth, families, communities and baseball nationwide.
“As soon as I heard the commissioner tell us at the U.S. Conference of Mayors about Play Ball Month, I knew we had to be part of it,” James said. “From summer youth leagues to record-breaking attendance at Royals games, Kansas City is a baseball town. We’ll celebrate that with a fun afternoon at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.”
Dayton Moore, Senior Vice President-Baseball Operations/General Manager for the Royals, added his support for Play Ball in Kansas City.
“Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred, Mayor Sly James and the Kansas City Royals are deeply committed to providing opportunity and growing the great game of baseball in our community,” Moore said.
Play Ball KC! kicks off at noon on Sunday, Aug. 30, on the Jay McShann Pavilion on the north side of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in the 18th & Vine District. Royals alumni will be on hand to play catch and teach fielding skills to kids. Participants also will receive a free t-shirt while supplies last.
The t-shirt also grants participants free admission to the museum. Persons accompanying Play Ball participants will receive discounted museum admission.
Mayor James is joining mayors nationwide who are holding Play Ball events, which focus on the fun nature of baseball. Activities here and in other cities are designed to engage citizens, families, and city departments with community events.
In announcing Play Ball nationally, Manfred said: “For decades, baseball has had a unique ability to bring communities together, and Major League Baseball is seeking to strengthen that connection between our sport and cities across the country through our new Play Ball initiative. We are thrilled to begin this new and innovative partnership, and I thank all the mayors who have stepped up to support this effort to provide fun experiences for kids and families.”
As part of Play Ball, anyone is invited to visit PlayBall.org, a website that provides parents, coaches and kids with information about baseball skills, links to youth-related news and events, searchable maps with links to community baseball leagues, health and safety information.