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06/04/08 6:20 PM ET

All-Star Game goes green

Special tote bag highlights environmentally friendly event

NEW YORK -- Baseball fans will get their fill of patriotic colors as the 2008 Major League Baseball All-Star Game draws closer. Red, white and blue will light up the New York City skyline from the Empire State Building as part of the All-Star week celebration.

Hall of Famers will travel down a red carpet and an eight-and-a-half-foot-tall Lady Liberty, complete with decorations of fireworks and the Yankees symbol, will show off the colors as well -- just one of 42 MLB-decorated Statue of Liberty replicas that will be displayed throughout the city this summer.

But Major League Baseball wants to make sure another color stands out this summer -- green.

Images of Yankee Stadium, Central Park, hot dogs and baseballs highlight a special tote bag created for the 2008 MLB All-Star Game to be played in New York City. And this bag isn't just a souvenir. It's meant for everyday use.

The reusable bags are made from 80 percent post-consumer recycled content, and they represent one of the steps MLB will take this summer to make All-Star week an environmentally friendly event.

"Handsome and useful," said John McHale, MLB's executive vice president of administration and chief information officer, as he held up a bag.

A partnership between MLB and the Natural Resources Defense Council will make the 2008 Midsummer Classic the greenest event in MLB's history. All of the green activities will have long-term rewards for the environment, but some of them will also provide immediate benefits to fans.

People attending DHL All-Star FanFest can hitch a ride to the Jacob K. Javits Center on clean air hybrid buses. The buses will leave from Grand Central Station and Penn Station from Friday, July 11 through Tuesday, July 15.

And one of MLB's green initiatives will leave more of a lasting mark. It will sponsor an Eco-Play playground build, with 85 percent recycled materials, at the Kip Bay Boys & Girls Club in the Bronx.

"We will be giving back to the greatest city in the world, New York City, by conducting a series of community relations efforts to benefit citizens of this city that has been such an important home for Major League Baseball," McHale said.

"All-Star summer will demonstrate baseball's commitment to improving the environment, and we will continue to do more in this area at the Commissioner's Office and with our clubs."

And the images of All-Star summer will start appearing soon enough. Beginning in the second week of June, New Yorkers will wake up to the Statue of Liberty replicas set up in historic locations up and down the city.

Tim Brosnan, MLB's executive vice president of business, said the statues are a "not-too-subtle reminder that the All-Star Game has arrived."

"What our goal is here is to make this the greatest celebration in baseball ever, because like I said, we've got the greatest ingredients to bake that cake," Brosnan added.

Samantha Newman is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.