06/17/09 12:28 PM ET
'Wanna Play?' offers fun for young fans
Interactive event for inner-city kids precedes Civil Rights Game
By Tom Singer / MLB.com
The objective is to expose inner-city kids to baseball, and whet their appetites for further participation on a greater level."With all the interactive activities, 'Wanna Play?' and the Youth Summit will be a fun way to expose every kid to baseball," said Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips, one of the featured stars of the program. "The Reds and Major League Baseball are putting together a great weekend of events surrounding the Civil Rights Game. "While we look forward to teaching young fans about the game itself, it's also important they learn the significant role baseball played in the Civil Rights Movement." Also scheduled to appear are current Red Jerry Hairston Jr., former Cincinnati outfielder Eric Davis and Harold Reynolds, the former MLB infielder and one of the studio hosts on the MLB Network. Demonstrations by the current and former players will highlight the "Wanna Play?" agenda, which will also feature such activities as batting and pitching cages, base-running contests and whiffle ball games. But it won't be all about fun and games. Reflective of the more profound overtones of the overall Youth Summit, an open-forum questions-and-answers session at 4 p.m. ET will address some of the more important messages of the Civil Rights Game weekend. That discussion will feature Kyle Massey, star of "Cory in the House," "Zoey 101" star Christopher Massey, country artist Rissi Palmer, Josh Hutcherson, one of the stars of "Bridge to Terabithia," and Davis.
Tonm Singer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.