USA Softball made an impact with kids on Monday, July 10 at MLB PLAY BALL Park in Miami.
MLB PLAY BALL Park, during MLB All-Star Week Miami (July 6-11), featured a variety of youth baseball and softball programming at Bayfront Park.
Activities highlighted informal ways to play ball games -- baseball, dodgeball, kickball, softball, stickball, wiffleball.
Major Leaguers (past and present) and former Team USA softball standouts joined in the fun with kids on Monday, July 10.
All the bats used plastic, and the balls plastic or rubber/foam type.
Each session free and open to the public.
In the late afternoon on Monday, July 10, softball took center stage and centerfield.
Softball pitching great Lisa Fernandez, a three-time Olympic gold medalist (1996, 2000, 2004) for Team USA, had so much fun playing with the kids and her two sons (Antonio and Cruz) at the 4:30 p.m. session. She served as catcher, doing some praising (as well as a little smack talking to batters) and making sure to block the plate.
Softball pitching standout Jennie Finch, a 2004 Olympic gold medalist and 2008 Olympic silver medalist for Team USA, spoke to kids including the Miami Stingrays and Miami Marlins RBI-Hallandale Beach softball players. She also answered questions, slow-pitched to batters and coached third base during informal play.
Destinee Martinez, another former Team USA softball player, encouraged kids to join the fun on the well-designed, make-shift field. She and former Team USA player Jaclyn Traina and former National Pro Fastpitch player Molly Fichtner pitched kickball, baseball and softball.
Participants received a MLB PLAY BALL T-shirt, a Miami Marlins hat, a wiffleball/bat set, free samples of Nathan’s Famous hot dogs, water and some great memories.
The goals to play informal ball games outdoors with friends and to have fun were instilled.
Some of the groups represented at PLAY BALL Park on Monday, July 10 were Abington (Pennsylvania) Little League, Cooper City Optimist 6U baseball all stars, Miami Marlins RBI-Hallandale Beach softball, Miami Stingrays travel softball, Overtown Tornadoes, Palmetto Bay rec softball, (New York) Team Pride Select travel baseball.
Music played throughout the informal games. The emcees were Michael King from Atlanta and DJ David C of New York.
While most programming throughout each day was pre-scheduled, there were plenty of opportunities for ‘Free Play,’ open to the general public.
USA Baseball also played a major part in the MLB PLAY BALL Park experience.
The open areas for FREE PLAY included:
· Chevy PLAY BALL Diamond
· Scotts Batting Cage
· Stickball Alley
· Nathan’s Famous Mobile Tour
· MLB Network & Miami Marlins Pitching Inflatables
- Youth Sports On The Web
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