BRAVES, MARLINS TO PLAY AT FORT BRAGG JULY 3rd
“Fort Bragg Game” Will Celebrate Nation’s Military on Fourth of July Weekend
FORT BRAGG N.C. — The Atlanta Braves and the Miami Marlins will play a first-of-its-kind regular season game in celebration of the nation’s Service members at Fort Bragg, NC on Sunday, July 3rd, Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) jointly announced today. The game will air nationally on ESPN’s “Sunday Night Baseball” and ESPN Radio at 8 p.m. (EST).
A new 12,500-capacity ballpark constructed by MLB and the MLBPA will host the “Fort Bragg Game” during the installation’s annual Fourth of July festivities. Following the game, in which the Braves will be the home team, the ballpark will be converted to a permanent softball field and multi-purpose facility for those who serve at Fort Bragg, a gift courtesy of the Major League Clubs and Players. This event will mark the first regular season game of a professional sport ever played on an active military base.
Fort Bragg, the most populated military installation in the United States, is home to the Army’s Global Response Force (GRF), which provides strategic military capabilities globally in defense of our nation’s security interests. The installation is virtually a city in itself, consisting of more than 250,000 people, encompassing an area of almost 500 square miles, with an annual impact of $9.8 billion to the local economy.
“We’re extremely grateful to Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association for their support to our Service members and families,” said Col. Brett Funck, Fort Bragg Garrison Commander. “This historic event and the converted multi-purpose facility will have enduring benefits for our entire Fort Bragg community for years to come.”
“Major League Baseball’s boundless gratitude to our military has led us to a unique event that will benefit the men and women of Fort Bragg and their families for many years,” said Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. “I thank the Braves and the Marlins for their participation and all of our Clubs and Players for contributing to this gesture, which will stand as a fitting new chapter in the National Pastime’s proud and distinguished military history.”
“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,” said MLBPA Executive Director Tony Clark. “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.”
“The Atlanta Braves organization is extremely honored to be chosen to play in the Fort Bragg Game and to entertain some of our nation’s patriot men and women,” said Braves President John Schuerholz. “It is special for our fans and our entire organization that we are playing this game in Braves Country – Fort Bragg, North Carolina.”
“This is a unique and exciting chance to play in front of some of our military troops and their families,” said Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez. “We have tremendous respect for what they do and it is an honor for us to have this opportunity.”
“It’s a distinct honor to play the Atlanta Braves at Fort Bragg, one of our nation’s oldest and most revered military bases,” said Marlins Owner/Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey H. Loria. “It also makes sense for America’s pastime to honor real American heroes by playing this regular season game for the soldiers and fans.”
“It is a privilege for the entire Marlins organization to bring our team to Fort Bragg in a show of gratitude for our servicemen and women and their families,” said Marlins manager Don Mattingly. “The opportunity to participate in this game is truly humbling.”
Many Major League players have served the country honorably, including the likes of Jerry Coleman, Bob Feller, Hank Gowdy, Eddie Grant, Hank Greenberg and Ted Williams. Since 2008, MLB has been a major supporter of Welcome Back Veterans (http://www.welcomebackveterans.org), an initiative of Major League Baseball Charities and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation that addresses the mental health and jobs needs of returning American Veterans. Welcome Back Veterans provides grants to university hospitals throughout the country that administer post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI) treatment to veterans and their families in a public/private partnership. MLB has conducted various fundraising and awareness efforts for Welcome Back Veterans on Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, September 11th remembrances and during the World Series. MLB and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation have committed more than $30 million to Welcome Back Veterans, including approximately $23 million in grants awarded to non-profit agencies and hospitals that support veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.
A preliminary rendering of the specially constructed ballpark for the Fort Bragg Game accompanies this joint press release. A video depicting the construction of the ballpark can be viewed here:
For more information, call Christina Douglas, Fort Bragg Garrison Public Affairs Office, (910) 643-9829; Patrick Courtney or Michael Teevan, Major League Baseball, (212) 931-7878; Greg Bouris, Major League Baseball Players Association, (212) 826-0808.
Deputy, Public Affairs & Chief, Media Relations
Fort Bragg Garrison Public Affairs Office
Office: (910) 643-9829
Fax: (910) 396-4568