Blue Jays Baseball Academy Rookie League wraps up 25th Season

On Thursday, August 15, the TORONTO BLUE JAYS and JAYS CARE FOUNDATION will be joined by 1,300 children and youth from 56 Toronto Community Housing neighbourhoods on the field at Rogers Centre to celebrate the closing of the 25th season of the Blue Jays Baseball Academy Rookie League in the GTA. Following the welcome to participants at the annual Rookie League Wrap Up, each neighbourhood will be cheering on their representatives in the Rookie League All-Star game before the distribution of the CIBC Team Spirit Award, Coaches of the Year Awards and Teamwork & Sportsmanship Awards.

Following a Maple Leaf Foods hot dog lunch, all of the Rookie Leaguers will be given a LUG backpack full of school supplies and will enjoy an afternoon of Blue Jays baseball programming, games and inflatables on Centre Island. Later that evening, the children and youth will return to the ballpark to watch the Toronto Blue Jays take on the Boston Red Sox.

Rookie Leaguers have enjoyed seven weeks of baseball programming at Stan Wadlow Park, Smythe Park, McGregor Park, and in each of their communities, at no cost to them or their families. Here, they have learned baseballs skills and gained the important life skills that come from being part of a team. Blue Jays catcher JP Arencibia, infielders Brett Lawrie and Rajai Davis, and pitcher Brandon Morrow served as Honorary Division Captains and Blue Jays manager John Gibbons served as Honorary Manager for the summer.

WHEN:

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Event runs from 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.

WHAT:

Blue Jays Baseball Academy Rookie League Wrap Up

On-field activities, baseball drills and Rookie League All Star Game

Opening remarks and speeches

Awards ceremony

Media availability and photo opportunity 

WHO:                   

Gene Jones, President and CEO, Toronto Community Housing

Rob Drynan, Executive Director, Jays Care Foundation

WHERE:              

Rogers Centre

One Blue Jays Way, Suite 3200

Toronto, ON

Through a partnership with Toronto Community Housing and Boys & Girls Clubs of Canada, the Blue Jays Baseball Academy Rookie League introduces kids living in under-resourced communities to the sport of baseball. This year-round program is offered at no cost to participants and their families. This year, Rookie League will reach 5,000 children in 90 communities across all provinces and one territory.

The 25th season of the Blue Jays Baseball Academy Rookie League program was made possible through the generous contributions of the following Jays Care Foundation supporters: CIBC Children's Foundation, City of Toronto, East York Minor Baseball Association, Maple Leaf Foods, Rawlings, Sue Vale, Toronto Police Services, Toronto Parks Forestry and Rec, Victor Cameron Foundation and York Minor Baseball Association.

About Jays Care Foundation

The Toronto Blue Jays, 2012 recipient of the MLB Commissioner's Award for Philanthropic Excellence, believe every child deserves the chance to reach their full potential, regardless of the challenges they face. Jays Care Foundation, the charitable arm of the Blue Jays, sets kids on a lifelong track to success by investing in charitable, community and baseball programs and facilities that focus on helping kids in need get active, excel academically and lead healthy lives. To date, Jays Care has invested more than $7.5 million in Canada's children and communities. 

For more information, visit www.bluejays.com/jayscare, follow @JaysCare on Twitter, 'like' Jays Care on Facebook, or call 416-341-1456.