Our Military Kids is scheduled to soon receive a very generous contribution from the Major League Baseball Players Trust, the charitable organization created and administered by active Major League baseball players. One of the primary funding areas of Our Military Kids grants for military children is sports, which provide children an opportunity to fulfill their dreams and aspirations by participating as team members with their peers. We are thrilled that the Major League Baseball Players Trust has identified Our Military Kids to recognize with a grant for $100,000. A ceremonial check presentation will take place before the historic game to be played between the Atlanta Braves and the Miami Marlins on Sunday, July 3.
The game will be historic because it will be the first professional sporting event played on a U.S. Military Installation. The game will take place at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, in a temporary 12,500-seat stadium erected by the Major League Baseball Players Association and MLB just for this occasion. The Atlanta Braves and Miami Marlins will play a salute-the-troops game, bringing Major League baseball to Fort Bragg. After the game, the site will be converted into softball and multipurpose recreational fields for those on the base.
MLBPA Executive Director Tony Clark said: “As the son of a Navy officer, I am extremely proud to stand with all Players and Major League Baseball as we honor our nation’s military and our country, through the playing of a regular season game in historic Fort Bragg on Fourth of July weekend. Many players are the grandsons, sons and brothers of men and women whom have served or continue to serve our country. This one-of-a-kind ballpark construction project provides us with an opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to all who serve to protect our great nation.”
Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred said that this will be “a unique event that will benefit the men and women of Fort Bragg and their families for many years.” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said the game is a chance to honor the soldiers on the base. Mattingly said, “There are a lot of heroes there. Some of those guys have paid a heavy price.” Braves catcher A.J. Pierzynski said, “To play in front of the troops, that’s kind of what you do this for. Because those guys are the real heroes. What they do protecting us and defending our way of life every day is pretty amazing.” The game will be televised nationally by ESPN at 8 p.m. (EST) as part of its Sunday Night Baseball schedule.
Major League Baseball Players Association has invited an Our Military Kids grant recipient family to be their guests at the game. The Trautman family is comprised of the eight children of dad LTC Carl Trautman, who has recently returned from his National Guard deployment in Afghanistan, and mom Kimberly. Thank you MLBPA and players for your heartwarming recognition of this military family at this historic event and Major League Baseball Players Trust for making it possible for many military children to participate in a sport of their choice!!!