United States President Barack Obama along with former U.S. Presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and Jimmy Carter will appear in an unprecedented video address as part of a special ceremony prior to the 80th Major League Baseball All-Star Game on FOX, Tuesday, July 14 at 8 p.m. ET. The video will mark the first time all of the living U.S. Presidents will participate in a ceremony at a sporting event. Following the video, President Obama will throw out the ceremonial first pitch.
The Presidential video address, which will run approximately seven minutes, will be part of a pre-game celebration honoring the 30 “All-Stars Among Us,” men and women who are being recognized by Major League Baseball and PEOPLE magazine for their selfless acts of giving and service to their communities.
The 30 honorees, one representing each MLB Club, were selected by fans online at www.peopleallstars.com as part of a joint initiative between Major League Baseball and PEOPLE magazine, with nearly three quarters of a million votes cast.
“The importance of community service is personified by the 30 ‘All-Stars Among Us’ and reinforced by the willingness of the five living Presidents to come together in support of this important theme during the Midsummer Classic,” said Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig. “In addition to celebrating baseball’s best on the field, Major League Baseball wants to shine a light on stars in the community whose work improves the lives of those who are less fortunate.”
The “All-Stars Among Us” program is central to the 2009 MLB All-Star Game and its surrounding events which are dedicated to the recognition of the important role of community service and to charitable initiatives. The charity and community service initiatives, which are themed “Going Beyond,” will be the most extensive in Major League Baseball All-Star history. Major League Baseball will raise and donate millions of dollars for numerous organizations.
In addition to talking about the importance of giving back to the community, each President will highlight the accomplishments of one of the “All-Stars Among Us,” who will be saluted on the field by the Major League Baseball All-Stars and the fans at Busch Stadium.
President Obama highlights Richard Nares ( San Diego , CA – Padres) whose Emilio Nares Foundation, which he began after his young son died of cancer, includes a program called Ride With Emilio that transports sick children who lack access to transportation to their cancer treatments and medical appointments.
Former President George W. Bush comments on Rob Dixon ( Brockton , MA – Red Sox), who founded Project RISE, a non-profit organization that transforms at-risk youth into serious students.
Former President Bill Clinton highlights Christine Shively (Newport Beach, CA – Angels), who crochets and knits cancer caps and sends them to 140 cancer centers in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico through her organization, “Knots of Love.”
Former President George H.W. Bush honors Gary Lynn ( Houston , TX – Astros), a 17-year old with cerebral palsy who started his own foundation and has raised more $12,000 for cerebral palsy research.
Former President Jimmy Carter talks about Ryan Housley ( Tyrone , GA – Braves), who started HeroBox, a nonprofit that supplies specialized packages for soldiers based on their individual needs.
Major League Baseball is supporting President Obama’s call for community service through “United We Serve,” a program which encourages Americans to engage in sustained and meaningful community service. President Obama is encouraging all Americans to visit www.serve.gov to find service opportunities in their area.
The 80th Major League Baseball All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, with pre-game ceremonies beginning at 8:00 p.m. ET, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and Sportsnet HD and televised in more than 200 countries and territories by Major League Baseball International. ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national radio coverage, while MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage.
The 30 “All-Stars Among Us” will also participate in the MLB All-Star Red Carpet Show presented by Chevy airing nationally on MLB Network on Tuesday, July 14 at 4 p.m. ET. They will join the 66 Major League Baseball All-Stars, AL and NL All-Star team managers, and Cardinals Hall of Famers who are scheduled to appear including Lou Brock, Bob Gibson, Stan Musial, Red Schoendienst, Ozzie Smith and Bruce Sutter.
The 30 “All-Stars Among Us” (please visit peopleallstars.com for full list) are individuals who dedicate their time and energy to helping others and improving the lives of those around them.
Source: Major League Baseball
Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.
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