Launched in 2008, "Play Baseball Detroit" is a comprehensive urban youth baseball outreach program dedicated to expanding and strengthening youth baseball and softball programs in the greater Detroit community. The multi- faceted program includes equipment collections, school rallies, youth clinics and a competitive tournament to encourage and develop our region's young athletes into the baseball stars of tomorrow.
The Play Baseball Detroit Day at Comerica Park is an on-field ceremony designed to help bring recognition and exposure to all of the components of the Play Baseball Detroit program. "Play Baseball Detroit" is a comprehensive urban youth baseball outreach program dedicated to encouraging and supporting youth baseball and softball programs in the greater Detroit region. The multifaceted program features equipment collections, school rallies, youth clinics and a competitive tournament to encourage and develop our region's young athletes into the baseball stars of tomorrow. Launched in 2008 with the financial assistance of Detroit Tigers players, the program continues to be funded by the Detroit Tigers Foundation, an affiliate of Ilitch Charities.
Play Baseball Detroit Day was hosted in partnership with the Detroit Tigers Foundation and Subway restaurants and featured youth ballplayers from the Tiny Tigers, Baseball FUNdamentals, Detroit Tigers Hometown Championship and Team Tigers programs. The ceremony also featured Juan Carlos Sanchez, the 2015 Team Tigers Coach of the Year, an award to recognize a Team Tigers Coach for his/her dedication and commitment to youth baseball or softball, and Jimmy Settles, the 2015 Champions Award Winner recognizing an individual for his/her long standing dedication and profound impact on the game of baseball and softball. Tigers outfielder Rajai Davis and Tigers Vice President of Public Affairs and Strategic Planning Elaine Lewis presented the awards to each recipient.
Thousands of young t-ball, baseball and softball players in the greater Detroit region participate in 'Team Tigers', a free online registration and rewards program that helps strengthen and expand baseball and softball programs in our area.
Join 'Team Tigers' and your baseball or softball team will receive special 'Team Tigers' wristbands, a resource manual provided by the Baseball Tomorrow Fund, and the opportunity to apply for youth baseball/softball equipment, Major League coaching instruction, and complimentary Tigers tickets!
The youngest members of Play Baseball Detroit are the Tiny Tigers. 'Tiny Tigers' is a tee ball and junior baseball program in partnership with the Think Detroit PAL for children ages 4-8. Since its inception in 2008 nearly 3,000 children have enrolled in the Tiny Tigers program.
At a time when health studies indicate that physical activity among young children is on the decline, the Detroit Tigers are working to put children on the path to a healthy future by promoting the game of baseball and encouraging students to join a Detroit area summer baseball/softball program.
Baseball FUNdamentals is the educational arm of "Play Baseball Detroit" that combines interactive Middle School Rallies, School Skills Clinics, and Community Clinics designed to create excitement and teach the fundamentals of the game.
Now in its 20th year, the "Detroit Tigers Hometown Championship" (formally known as the Hometown World Series) is a competitive end of season tournament hosted in partnership with the Youth Development Commission, the City of Detroit Recreation Department, and the Detroit Tigers Foundation an affiliate of Ilitch Charities. The tournament is a week-long baseball and softball tournament that serves over 1,200 children ages 7-18.
The tournament includes spectacular opening day ceremonies, complete with Boy Scouts of America and Girl Scouts Color Guards, drum-lines and marching bands, and ceremonial first pitches. In addition, the tournament features a girls softball clinic hosted by University of Detroit Mercy, a boys showcase hosted by Wayne State University, two skills challenge competitions hosted by Henry Ford Community College, All Star Classics, and a community FUNday.
Congratulations to the 2015 Detroit Tigers Hometown Championship Skills Challenge Competitions Winners:
Pitch Hit and Run
Home Run Challenge
Congratulations to the 2015 Detroit Tigers Hometown Championship Champions:
Founded in 2002, Willie Horton's Batting for Kids is a youth baseball clinic and skills competition that focuses on enhancing the lives of children by improving their self-esteem and increasing their personal commitment to achievement. The 2014 Willie Horton's Batting for Kids took place at Comerica Park and hosted over 400 Detroit area youth age 5-15 in a youth development, baseball skills competition promoting the enrichment of youth and recreational sports.
The Baseball Challenge provided an opportunity for youth to showcase their abilities as well as learn new skills during a free, fun-filled day at Comerica Park. Participating youth competed for awards in three different skill areas including batting, throwing and base running. The top boy and girl in each age division were recognized during a special on-field ceremony at Comerica Park.
In addition, children received baseball tips on the field where major leaguers play. Willie Horton's Batting For Kids is hosted in partnership with Don Bosco Hall, a private non-profit agency that provides supportive human services to enhance the quality of life for children and their families residing in the Metro Detroit-Wayne County Community.
Comerica Bank created the Grand Slam Grant in 2011 to help public high schools in Michigan create, expand or improve a baseball or softball program. Past winners of this grant include Kalamazoo Central High School, Lincoln High School, Detroit Renaissance High School, Cass Technical High School and Holland High Schools. The recipients of the 2014 Comerica Bank Grand Slam Grant included Robichaud High School and Mona Shores High School and each received $10,000 to support their baseball and softball programs. The high schools plan to use the funding towards renovations for their baseball and softball facilities which are also utilized by local youth ball clubs. Students from both schools' baseball and softball programs were honored in a special on-field pregame ceremony featuring Tigers outfielder Rajai Davis.
Everyone was smiles at the 2015 Detroit Tigers Baseball Fantasy Camp for Kids, a camp designed to provide youth with special needs the opportunity to learn and play the game of baseball with the Detroit Tigers. Detroit Tigers catcher Alex McCann, infielder Andrew Romine, and pitcher Alex Wilson worked with 50 players from Miracle League of Michigan to improve their baseball skills and share their love for the game. The event was sponsored by the Detroit Tigers Foundation, an affiliate of Ilitch Charities through the generosity of Jeremy Flug, Founder of Baseball Fantasy Camp for Kids.
The Detroit Tigers Foundation, an affiliate of Illitch Charities, in conjunction with the Michigan High School Baseball Coaches Association (MHSBCA) held the 34th annual East vs. West High School All Star Game at Comerica Park, Home of the Detroit Tigers. The game featured the best and brightest stars of Michigan high school baseball.
Prior to the game, the 2015 MHSBCA Hall of Fame Class was honored with a special pre-game ceremony, along with High School All Star Grant Wolfram, who was selected by the Detroit Tigers in the 2015 Major League Baseball June Amateur Draft.
Youth ballplayers from Detroit and the surrounding communities were invited to Comerica Park for a day of fun for P.L.A.Y Campaign, a program of the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society, the Taylor Hooton Foundation and the Henry Schein Cares Foundation. The program promotes healthy living by teaching children the importance of staying fit, being active and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Detroit Tigers pitcher Max Scherzer, Head Athletic Trainer Kevin Rand and his staff hosted nearly 100 children during the on-field clinic where youth rotated to different stations each featuring a lesson related to healthy living. Participants learned agility drills, stretching techniques and had a question and answer session with Tigers pitcher Max Scherzer.