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Major League Baseball to support Welcome Back Veterans on Memorial Day
05/19/2010 10:19 AM ET

Major League Baseball will begin its third year of national fundraising and awareness initiatives for Welcome Back Veterans, a program which addresses the needs of returning American Veterans and their families. With the support of Major League Baseball and its Clubs, Welcome Back Veterans since 2008 has awarded $8.3 million in grants to 30 non-profit agencies across the country targeting veterans' greatest needs, including mental health and job training/placement.

At three key points of national reflection during the baseball season -- Memorial Day (May 31), Independence Day weekend (July 4) and Patriot Day (September 11) -- all Clubs will participate in a number of initiatives to support Welcome Back Veterans.

For games on Memorial Day, all Major League Baseball Clubs will wear special new "Stars & Stripes" caps. The caps will have the American flag etched into the team's logo and for the first time, will be off-white in color with red or blue brims (the Toronto Blue Jays hat will incorporate 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 an additional $1 to Welcome Back Veterans for each cap purchased through www.mlb.com. Pictured are the caps to be worn by the 2009 World Champion New York Yankees and National League Champion Philadelphia Phillies. Images of the caps for all 30 clubs are available at MLBPressBox.com.

Also on Memorial Day, Major League Baseball once again will participate in the National Moment of Remembrance, with all games in progress pausing at 3:00 p.m. ET to encourage all citizens to reflect on the sacrifices made by those who have served in the armed forces.

"As a social institution, Major League Baseball considers it a privilege to assist our troops in any way possible," said Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig. "We are proud to help Welcome Back Veterans provide funding to such worthy institutions helping our troops, and we ask our fans to join us on Memorial Day and beyond in this effort to raise awareness and support for this important cause."

"Helping our troops is a cause very close to my heart, and I'm glad to see Major League Baseball will once again pledge their support on Memorial Day and beyond," said San Francisco Giants pitcher and founder of Strikeouts For Troops, Barry Zito. "I'll wear my Stars & Stripes cap proudly that day, and I encourage all my fellow players to get involved, give back to those who give so much and show these brave men and women how much we care about them."

"We are honored to support those who have served our country and their families who have given so much," said David D. Hiller, president and CEO of the McCormick Foundation. "We are proud to join Major League Baseball in this effort and provide matching dollars to help our servicemen and women successfully return to life with their families and communities."

"Major League Baseball's powerful commitment to supporting our soldiers and their families is truly inspirational," said President and CEO of the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), Lisa Paulsen. "EIF is proud to join MLB and the fans of America's pastime in honoring and celebrating the lives of America's heroes." Welcome Back Veterans is an MLB Charities initiative in partnership with the McCormick Foundation and the Entertainment Industry Foundation. The program is supported by Major League Baseball Advanced Media and MLB Network. Welcome Back Veterans has awarded $8.3 million in grants to 30 non-profit agencies across the country targeting veterans' and their families greatest needs.

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

About Major League Baseball Charities
Major League Baseball Charities is a not-for-profit corporation that provides support to local, national and international tax-exempt organizations to directly conduct or sponsor activities for the promotion of good health, physical education, public safety, medical research, literacy and educational or charitable purposes. Major League Baseball is committed to leading the fight against cancer, and supports the research, awareness and prevention activities of Stand Up To Cancer, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the Prostate Cancer Foundation, and Play Sun Smart, among others.

In addition to supporting Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA), MLB Charities provides support to a number of other national charitable initiatives, including the Jackie Robinson Foundation, USA Baseball, the National Urban League and the Wheelchair Sports Federation. The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball pays all administrative expenses for MLB Charities.

About the McCormick Foundation
The McCormick Foundation is a nonprofit organization committed to strengthening our free, democratic society by investing in our children, communities and country. It was established as a charitable trust in 1955, upon the death of Col. Robert R. McCormick, the longtime editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune, who believed that philanthropy and service to others strengthens the civic health of our communities. The Foundation is one of the nation's largest charities, with more than $1 billion in assets. To learn more about the McCormick Foundation visit www.McCormickFoundation.org.

About the Entertainment Industry Foundation
The Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), as a leading charitable organization of the entertainment industry, has distributed hundreds of millions of dollars to support charitable initiatives addressing critical health, education and social issues. Visit www.eifoundation.org.

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


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