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John Hancock gives Fanfest tix
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06/16/2004  9:32 PM ET
John Hancock gives Fanfest tix
Sponsor teams with city, Clemens to give to needy
tickets for any Major League Baseball game
Roger Clemens, Carol Alvarado, Carol Fulp, and Drayton McLane greet young fans. (Alyson Footer/
HOUSTON -- On Wednesday, John Hancock announced a donation of 4,000 John Hancock All-Star Fanfest tickets to Houston inner-city youth, many of whom were invited to attend a press conference which included a visit from Astros right-hander Roger Clemens.

Clemens joined John Hancock Vice President of Community Relations Carol Fulp, Houston Mayor Pro-Tem Carol Alvarado and Houston Astros owner Drayton McLane in a ceremonial presentation of the tickets to students from Jackson Middle School as well as select kids from the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.

The tickets will be distributed through the Roger Clemens Foundation and the Mayor's Office.

Now in its 14th season, the John Hancock All-Star FanFest provides a chance for families and fans to experience interactive exhibits, attractions, live entertainment and the enjoy the rich history of baseball.

In conjunction with MLB All-Star week, the John Hancock All-Star FanFest opens on Friday, July 9 and runs through Tuesday, July 13.

"I'm very excited about a game that's going to showcase all of our great Major League Baseball players, as well as our city, and it starts with Fanfest," Clemens said. "I'm very excited that (John Hancock is) purchasing tickets, so along with the Roger Clemens Foundation, I'm going to be able to return some of these tickets to the community, to kids that normally wouldn't get the opportunity to experience this kind of fun."

2004 All-Star FanFest

To the kids, Clemens added: "I hope to see all your faces at the Fanfest. I appreciate John Hancock asking me to be one of their spokespeople for Fanfest. Of the many All-Star Games that I've been privileged to be in, I've made sure to make a point to go to a few of those events."

Since 1999, John Hancock has donated 20,000 tickets to Fanfest.

"Many of you will get to attend the biggest party in Houston," Alvarado said to the children. "And that's Fanfest."

McLane added, "Last year in Chicago, over 100,000 people attended Fanfest. This year, Houstonians love to break records, so we hope each of you are able to come."

The press conference concluded with Clemens asking if there were any questions for the audience. One brazen student asked Clemens to hit a home run for the kids from M.D. Anderson.

"I'm not Babe Ruth," Clemens said, laughing. "I'm just happy to hit one out of the infield. How about a 10 strikeout game instead?"

That response was met with a hearty round of applause.

Alyson Footer is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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