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Perfect Game Cares Hosts 500 For Free Camp in St. Pete

July 22, 2021– The Perfect Game Cares Foundation continued its efforts to provide baseball and softball-playing opportunities to children everywhere, when the non-profit arm of Perfect Game hosted its third free youth baseball and softball camp of the year on Tuesday, July 13 at Historic Oliver Field at Campbell Park in St. Petersburg, Fla.

More than 500 area youth attended the camp for a one-of-a-kind baseball and softball-playing experience under the tutelage of former Major League Baseball players, minor leaguers, college, and high school players.

(Pictured: Former Major League All-Star, Luis Gonzalez, provides batting tips to youth camp attendee.)

The Perfect Game Cares Foundation also teamed with its partners Rawlings, TOP Chops Beef Jerky and Augusta Sportswear to provide free gear and equipment to every child present, including a glove and camp t-shirt. Each child received a swag bag with a mini bat and signed Toronto Blue Jays baseball courtesy of Perfect Game alum and current Blue Jays player, Bo Bichette. Attendees also received two tickets to a Tampa Bay Rays game and a Rays ball cap courtesy of the Rays, and a free meal voucher from nearby Ferg’s Sports Bar and Grill.

This event was made possible with the support of multiple partners who share Perfect Game and Perfect Game Care’s commitment to grow the games of baseball and softball, including Bo Bichette and his mother, Mariana Bichette, the City of St. Petersburg, St. Petersburg Police Athletic League, TASCO Teen Programming, OnPoint Sports Strategies and Westshore Pizza.

Following in the footsteps of its recently announced partnership with Slater Elementary in Atlanta, Perfect Game Cares Foundation and its Grow the Game Fund will underwrite a free youth baseball/softball league for children residing in the St. Petersburg community. The league will play its games at Oliver Field, which was formerly used by multiple Negro League teams, and which has otherwise mostly remained unoccupied.

“I’m thankful for my travel ball coach, Jered Goodwin, and his work with PG Cares, for the City of St. Pete and my friends there,” said Blue Jays shortstop, Bo Bichette. “I’m grateful I was able to help facilitate an amazing camp for St. Pete’s kids as we do our best to bring baseball opportunities to the Burg!”

“Being involved in such a special event was a fantastic experience,” said PG National Scouting Director Jered Goodwin. “The PG Cares family got to see the bigger picture firsthand with the amount of community involvement including the Bichette family, TASCO, local high school coaches and players, PAL, the Blue Jays, the Rays, and St. Pete residents all coming together to produce a massively successful day. The amount of first-time baseball players enjoying the great game was unbelievable. The impactful day was just the start, the follow up is the game changer.”

The St. Petersburg youth camp follows recent Perfect Game Cares Foundation activities in Atlanta and featured the participation of several former Major League Baseball players, including Hall of Famer, Trevor Hoffman (pictured below), Luis Alicea, Lou Collier, Ben Ford, Luis Gonzalez, Tom “Flash” Gordon, Clint Hurdle, Charles Johnson, Denard Span, Junior Spivey, Michael Tucker and Greg Vaughn. Long-time Major League baseball executives Bill Bavasi and Bob Fontaine Jr. also joined the extensive roster alongside Harrison Ray, a current Minor League player in the Toronto Blue Jays organization.

(Pictured: Former Major League All-Star, Trevor Hoffman, provides tips to youth camp attendees.)

Many of the players joined Perfect Game Cares for a caravan visit to Thomas Jet Jackson Recreation Center, where they shared inspiring, personal stories of their upbringings and how they used the sport of baseball to break down the barriers in front of them.

“The youth events, which were strategically chosen due to their historical and geographical impact, provided an outlet for kids to simply be kids,” said St. Petersburg Parks and Recreation’s Shawn Drouin. “Activities like the Perfect Game Cares Youth Baseball/Softball Clinic at Historic Oliver Field and the caravan at Thomas Jet Jackson Recreation Center will undoubtedly make an impact in our community for years to come. Both events highlighted having a passion for something in your life and doing whatever it takes to reach your goals, regardless of how small or big. This is merely the beginning of changing lives and bringing baseball back into South St. Petersburg, and we cannot thank the entire Perfect Game and PG Cares team enough for their dedication and sincere passion for our city and especially our youth.”

“Anyone with a heart can’t help but love the hundreds of young kids we saw in St. Pete,” said Perfect Game President and Founder, Jerry Ford. “These children are extremely talented and very innocent. They truly deserve every opportunity to become successful in life. That is our mission at Perfect Game Cares. It takes a small army to make this happen. We can’t thank everyone involved in making this happen enough.”

"Great things happen when likeminded people come together to help. The commitment of those working in the youth space of St. Petersburg is awe inspiring,” said Perfect Game Cares Executive Director, Jennifer Ford. “We cannot wait to get started implementing long term support of programming for these wonderful kids. We look forward to Growing the Game in St Petersburg."

The Perfect Game Cares Foundation’s Grow the Game Fund is made possible by generous donations from MLB players and PG Alumni, Trevor Story and George Springer, corporate partner TOP Chops Beef Jerky and contributions from others passionate about removing barriers that stand between children from underserved communities and their chance to fall in love with the sports of baseball and softball.

To learn more about Perfect Game Cares and its Grow the Game Fund, please visit PerfectGameCares.org.

 

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Perfect Game Announces Creation of a Hall of Fame to Honor the Outstanding Achievements of its Alumni

July 19, 2021--Perfect Game Founder and President, Jerry Ford, today announced the creation of the Perfect Game Hall of Fame to recognize and honor the outstanding performances and accomplishments of baseball players who participated in past Perfect Game events while an amateur.

Perfect Game, the world’s largest youth baseball and softball platform and scouting service, has been fortunate to have seen nearly 1,600 young athletes play at the Major League level after appearing in Perfect Game events during their amateur years. And since 2003, 13,324 Perfect Game alumni have been selected in the MLB first-year, amateur player draft.  During last week’s 2021 MLB draft, all 36 players selected on the first day (29 first round picks, one compensation pick and six competitive balance round A picks) all played in Perfect Game events, and 95-percent of all players chosen in the 2021 draft are Perfect Game participants.

To be eligible for election into the Perfect Game Hall of Fame, players must have been on a Major League Baseball team’s active roster on or before July 15, 2013, and they must have attended multiple Perfect Game events as an amateur.

Based on the above criteria, the 24 players listed below will have their names appear on the inaugural class fan ballot, including some of MLB’s biggest stars such as Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Nolan Arenado, Jason Heyward and Buster Posey, and former standout players, Prince Fielder, David Wright, Carl Crawford, and Brian McCann.

Online fan balloting (www.perfectgame.org/HOF) will take place Monday, July 19 through Wednesday, September 1, and participating fans are allowed to select up to 10 players from the list of 24 eligible players. Fans will be permitted to submit one ballot each day during the online balloting process. The top 10 vote getters in fan balloting will be announced September 1, 2021, on PerfectGame.TV.

Perfect Game will honor its Hall of Fame Class of 2021 during a special induction gala on Wednesday, October 6, in the Grand Ballroom of the PGA National Resort and Spa in West Palm Beach, FL. The day before the gala, the Perfect Game Cares Foundation will host a Celebrity Golf Classic at PGA National, and from October 7-11, Perfect Game will host its World Wood Bat Association Championships in nearby Jupiter.

Stated Ford: “Over the years, we have been blessed to have had many great players participate in Perfect Game events, and to show our appreciation for their passion and accomplishments in the game, it will be an honor to recognize the best of the best by inducting them into the Perfect Game Hall of Fame. We remain grateful for all of the support Perfect Game receives from the baseball community, and the creation of the Hall of Fame is another way for us to express our gratitude to these great players.”

For more information regarding the Perfect Game Hall of Fame Induction Gala and fundraising golf tournament at PGA National Resort and Spa, please click here.

Read more here.

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PG Cares Provides Playing Opportunities for Atlanta Youth

July 7, 2021--The Perfect Game Cares Foundation today announced that Slater Elementary School in South Atlanta is the first grant recipient of its new Grow the Game Fund.  Slater Elementary School will use the grant to establish its own baseball/softball leagues for its students as well as provide entry fees that allow students to participate in the local Carver YMCA summer baseball/softball league.

The Perfect Game Cares Foundation teamed up with its partners Rawlings, New Balance, and Augusta Sportswear to provide free gear and equipment, such as gloves, bats, footwear and uniforms to help the Slater Elementary students prepare for the start of their season.

Providing resources to create these new leagues and playing opportunities for the school community follows recent Perfect Game Cares Foundation activities at Slater Elementary, including a PG Cares caravan visit as well as a free youth baseball/softball camp in March that included former Major League baseball players Lou Collier, Ben Ford, Luis Gonzalez, Tom “Flash” Gordon, Brian Jordan, Junior Spivey and Greg Vaughn.

The Perfect Game Cares Foundation’s Grow the Game Fund is made possible by generous donations from MLB players and PG Alumni, Trevor Story and George Springer, corporate partner TOP Chops Beef Jerky and contributions from others passionate about removing barriers that stand between children from underserved communities and their chance to fall in love with the sports of baseball and softball.

Read more here.

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PG Announces PGAAC Partnership, Details

June 28, 2021--On Friday, June 25, Perfect Game CEO, Brad Clement, and Vice President of Partnerships and Perfect Game Cares Foundation Executive Director, Jennifer Ford, presided over of a news conference at Petco Park in San Diego, Calif. to announce some of the details for the upcoming All-American Classic. Clement and Ford were joined by All-American Classic Honorary Chairman and Padres legend, Trevor Hoffman, and Menifee, Calif. standout high school baseball player, Mikey Romero.  Romero will be among 50 of the top high school baseball players taking part in the 19th annual All-American Classic on Sunday, August 22 at Petco Park.

Off the field, leading Friday’s announcements was the naming of TOP Chops beef jerky as the presenting sponsor for what will now be known as the Perfect Game All American Classic, Presented by TOP Chops. This multiyear partnership agreement comes on the heels of the recent announcement naming TOP Chops the official beef jerky of Perfect Game and the naming rights partner of Perfect Game’s East Cobb (Marietta, Ga.) baseball and softball complex.

Perfect Game also announced the names of other leading brands joining TOP Chops on the All-American Classic roster of corporate sponsors, including Rawlings, Oakley, Yeti, New Balance, Diamond Kinetics, Augusta Sportwear and G-Form.

Jennifer Ford announced that the Perfect Game Cares Foundation will host a free kids youth baseball camp in San Diego on Thursday, August 19.  She also announced that athletes participating in the All-American Classic will have the opportunity to join the Perfect Game Cares Foundation in its planned charitable activities to benefit San Diego’s Peckham Center for Cancer & Blood Disorders at Rady Children’s Hospital.  

Proceeds from the All-American Classic will once again benefit Rady Children’s Hospital.  Eight-year-old Carter Santos, an avid baseball fan, will serve as official honorary All-American athlete representing Rady Children's Hospital.  

Over the past 18 years, All-American Classic fundraising activities have generated more than $1.3 million for a variety of local causes, including $850,000 to Rady Children’s hospital and a record-breaking $119,819 during last year’s event in Oklahoma City to benefit the Toby Keith Foundation’s OK Kids Korral.

“The Perfect Game Cares Foundation is looking forward to once again working with the All-American Classic athletes and others to raise funds for and shine a light on the great work being done daily by Rady Children’s Hospital,” added Jennifer Ford.  “Through the Perfect Game Cares Foundation, the entire Perfect Game family of employees, partners and participants are committed to helping others in need.  Together, we are providing resources and opportunities to boys and girls in underserved communities across the country.”

Read more here.

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11U Select Festival Announced for 2021

June 28, 2021--Perfect Game is pleased to announce that a fourth Select Baseball Festival has been added to the 2021 event calendar, continuing PG’s growing commitment to the Youth Baseball community.

The inaugural PG 11U Select Baseball Festival will be held August 6-8 at the TOP Chops East Cobb Baseball Complex in Marietta, Ga. The 11U Festival joins the 12U, 13U, and 14U Select Baseball Festivals already on the 2021 PG calendar. Those events will be held August 13-15 at TOP Chops East Cobb Complex (12U), August 27-29 at Oklahoma University (13U), and Sept 3-5 (14U) at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers, Fla.

“We are very excited to hold this event for many of the best 11U players in the country,” Perfect Game President Jerry Ford said. “It is amazing how talented these young kids are. It will be very interesting to watch them grow over the years.”

Proceeds will benefit the PG Cares Grow the Game Campaign for Atlanta's children from the most underserved communities and for local pediatric cancer patients and their families. The invited players will also be involved in fund-raising efforts of their own leading up to the event itself.

“We are thrilled to continue our tradition of supporting children struggling with illness and poverty for the upcoming inaugural 11U Select Festival. We have been very invested in the Atlanta market for many years and are thrilled to support children in this community. Players will have the opportunity to raise critical funds to support the wonderful pediatric cancer patients and their families as well as offering hope to kids less fortunate. Perfect Game Cares believes that with help, children can rise. Rise out of illness! Rise out of poverty! Rise to a brighter future!” Jennifer Ford, Executive Director for the Perfect Game Cares Foundation, said.

Read more here.

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Springer, Story Join Forces with PG Cares

May 26, 2021--Perfect Game announced that Major League Baseball All-Stars George Springer and Trevor Story have donated a combined $150,000 to the Perfect Game Cares Foundation, designated to support its “Grow the Game” fund. In turn, Perfect Game also announced it will match the generous donation from two of its most illustrious alums, bringing a total contribution of $300,000 to the Perfect Game Cares Foundation to help provide financial assistance to youth players in need. 

Springer and Story wanted to join forces to ensure that more athletes of color and underprivileged youth in general are getting the financial assistance they need to play baseball in their local communities.
 
“Grow the Game” funds are earmarked by the Perfect Game Cares Foundation specifically for the purpose of helping ensure that cost does not stop any child from enjoying a chance to play and fall in love with the great games of baseball and softball in their communities. Together, Story and Springer’s donation will be used to create long-term change within baseball by making the game more accessible for underprivileged youth and developing more opportunities for players from impoverished communities to play the game of baseball.

Read more here.

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2021 PGAAC Returns to Petco Park

April 8, 2021--Perfect Game President Jerry Ford today announced that the 19th annual All-American Classic, the amateur baseball game featuring as many as 50 of the nation’s top-rated high school players, will return to San Diego’s Petco Park, Sunday, August 22, 2021. The All-American Classic pits the top high school players from the East against those from the West, and returns to San Diego for the 12th time in 13 years, after Oklahoma City played host in 2020.


The All-American Classic not only shines a light on some of the world’s most talented high school baseball players, including many destined for Major League Baseball, it also provides an opportunity for the young athletes to demonstrate their passion for helping others. Players will have an opportunity to participate in a fundraising competition with the Perfect Game Cares Foundation, to help raise funds for patients of Rady Children’s Hospital of the Peckham Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders. Given the limitations imposed upon hospital visitations during the pandemic, each All-American player will be paired with a “buddy” from the hospital during certain on-field activities at Petco Park. Over the past 18 years, the All-American Classic fundraising activities have generated more than $1.3 million for a variety of local causes, including a record-breaking $119,819 raised during last year’s event in Oklahoma City to benefit the Toby Keith Foundation’s OK Kids Korral.

“We’re very excited about returning to San Diego and Petco Park to host the 2021 All-American Classic,” stated Jerry Ford. “Petco Park, the great city of San Diego and the area’s diehard baseball community have been gracious hosts of this event for 12 of the past 13 years, and we are confident that they will once again provide the players, their families and guests with an experience that will last a lifetime.”

“We are thrilled once again to be back in San Diego raising money for the incredible children of Rady Children’s Hospital. Our players and partners are incredibly passionate and committed to this cause and are forever touched with the impact their efforts make in the lives of these beautiful children,” said Jennifer Ford, executive director of the Perfect Game Cares Foundation.

“Since 2006, the Perfect Game All-American Classic has been fundraising for the Peckham Center for Cancer & Blood Disorders at Rady Children’s and have raised nearly $850,000 to date. This annual event allows the hospital to provide excellent care to nearly 300 newly diagnosed cancer patients each year. It was a pleasure to recognize Perfect Game as our 2019 Outstanding Community Fundraising Partner, and we are looking forward to safely resuming our partnership in 2021," stated Steve Jennings, SVP, Chief External Affairs Officer and Executive Director of Rady Children’s Foundation.

Read more here.

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PG Cares Hosts First Softball Game

July 27, 2019--Jerry Ford had to pause a couple times to collect himself as he described what this weekend meant to him, to the company he founded more than 25 years ago, and to the kids in the underserved communities he wishes to help.

Perfect Game Cares, a wing of Perfect Game that has ambitious goals to help serve its community through a number of programs, hosted its inaugural celebrity softball game on Saturday, with former MLB All-Stars like Trevor Hoffman, Bo Jackson, and Luis Gonzalez in attendance. Those three, as well as a large number of other baseball and local celebrities, hosted a kids camp Saturday morning before playing in the softball game. Almost 500 kids had the opportunity to interact with the stars.

Read more here.