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Major League Baseball to support Welcome Back Veterans in honor of July 4th holiday
07/02/2009 1:40 PM ET

Major League Baseball will once again honor veterans throughout the nation during the July 4th holiday weekend as part of its second year of national fundraising and awareness initiatives for Welcome Back Veterans, a program which addresses the mental health and job needs of returning American Veterans.

As with the games on Memorial Day earlier this year, all Major League Baseball Clubs will wear special "Stars & Stripes" caps on Saturday and Sunday, July 4th and 5th. The caps have the American flag etched into the team's logo and are red in color (the Toronto Blue Jays hat incorporates a Maple Leaf design instead of the "Stars & Stripes"). These MLB Authentic Collection caps, produced by New Era, are available for sale to the public at www.mlb.com. Major League Baseball Properties, Inc will donate all of the proceeds it receives from the sale of the caps to Welcome Back Veterans. In addition, MLB.com will donate at least $1 to Welcome Back Veterans for each cap purchased through www.mlb.com. Pictured are the caps to be worn by the 2008 World Champion Philadelphia Phillies and American League Champion Tampa Bay Rays.

"Major League Baseball considers it a privilege to assist our troops in any way we can," said Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig. "We are proud to support these efforts in every way possible, and we ask our fans to join us this Fourth of July weekend and beyond in this effort to raise awareness and funds for this important cause."

Welcome Back Veterans was created by New York Mets Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Fred Wilpon and a group of private citizens. Supported by Major League Baseball, Major League Baseball Advanced Media and the McCormick Foundation, the goal of Welcome Back Veterans is to raise $100 million and provide 100,000 job opportunities for Veterans.

With its second round of grants in April 2009, Welcome Back Veterans has awarded $5.5 million in grants to 24 non-profit agencies across the country targeting veterans' greatest needs, including mental health and job training/placement. Welcome Back Veterans has teamed with the University Hospitals of Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York, the University of Michigan and Stanford University, which are developing treatment procedures for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and other mental health issues of returning Veterans and their families. In addition, Welcome Back Veterans is working closely with corporate America to provide 100,000 job opportunities for returning Veterans.

For additional information on Welcome Back Veterans, please go to www.welcomebackveterans.org.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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