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Home Local Maryland Government Announcement Originally published March 23, 2011

New Tournament Uses Sports to Unite City’s Youth



Major League Baseball Commissioner praises Council President Young’s new citywide baseball tournament. Council President will be joined Thursday by City Schools CEO Dr. Andrés Alonso and Orioles executive to announce the President’s Cup

BALTIMORE, MD – City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young will be joined Thursday by Baltimore Orioles Director of Communications Greg Bader, Baltimore City Schools CEO Andrés Alonso and Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association Vice President and Baseball Sport Committee Chairman Tim Holley to announce the President’s Cup – a citywide baseball tournament designed to bring together the city’s public and private school students on some of Baltimore’s finest baseball diamonds.

The President’s Cup aims to unite Baltimore’s youth by using baseball to bring together groups of high school students from different backgrounds that normally would not compete with one another. The President’s Cup also represents an exciting new addition to the Council President’s ongoing P.L.A.Y. (Productive Lives, Active Youth) campaign. P.L.A.Y. provides Baltimore’s youth with a wide range of opportunities to strengthen their self-confidence, develop leadership skills, learn from positive role models, and be rewarded athletically for their academic achievements. P.L.A.Y. encourages them to thrive academically, socially and emotionally.

Council President Young said he pushed to create the President’s Cup as a way to showcase youth baseball, which has been on the decline in many cities, including Baltimore, for much of the past decade.

“During my childhood, baseball was the one sport that crossed racial and socioeconomic lines to unite the city’s youth,” Council President Young said. “With the President’s Cup, we’re looking to recreate the unifying magic of the sport to bring together youth from different backgrounds.”

In a statement issued Tuesday, Major League Baseball Commissioner Allan H. “Bud” Selig praised the creation of the President’s Cup.

“On behalf of Major League Baseball, I commend all the leaders of Baltimore who have launched the President’s Cup,” Commissioner Selig said. “The President’s Cup will demonstrate baseball’s remarkable ability to serve as a common bond. Providing young people with ample opportunity to engage in our sport is paramount to Major League Baseball, and I believe this experience will benefit its participants on and off the field. I applaud the city of Baltimore for this initiative and I wish the best of luck to all the high school students who will compete in the tournament.”

Mr. Bader, the Baltimore Orioles Director of Communications, said the organization, which prides itself on community enriching programs, jumped at the chance to participate in the President’s Cup.

“The Orioles are proud to play a role in Council President Young’s vision for a city-wide baseball tournament,” Mr. Bader said. “This tournament will serve as an instrument to connect, through friendly competition, these young student athletes. Taking the field at Oriole Park at Camden Yards for the championship game will be a memory that these young men can treasure forever.”

City Schools CEO Dr. Alonso said that “athletics are a great opportunity for our young people to develop self-confidence, leadership skills, and the ability to work as part of a team. As an enthusiastic baseball fan, I look forward to the President’s Cup and the spirit of friendly competition it creates among youth from all parts of the Baltimore area.”

Mr. Holley, the MIAA’s Second Vice President, said his league was honored to be invited to participate in the inaugural President’s Cup.

“The five MIAA member schools that will be representing Baltimore City are looking forward to this wonderful opportunity to highlight high school baseball and to compete and share with our public school neighbors,” Mr. Holley said. “We are grateful to City Council President Young for his vision and initiative in putting this tournament together in the pursuit of creating more positive bonding experiences for Baltimore City youngsters of varying backgrounds.”

The President’s Cup will kick off on Saturday, April 2, 2011, with a welcome event at Baltimore’s Sports Legends Museum to celebrate the city’s rich baseball history. Tournament play will begin on Saturday, April 9, 2011, and continue through Saturday, April 16, 2011. During the President’s Cup, students will compete on some of the city’s best baseball fields in hopes of playing in the championship game on Saturday, April 16, 2011 at the field at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

WHAT: City Council President Young will be joined Thursday morning by Baltimore Orioles Director of Communications Greg Bader, Baltimore City Schools CEO Andrés Alonso and Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association Vice President and Baseball Sport Committee Chairman Tim Holley to announce the President’s Cup – a citywide baseball tournament designed to bring together the city’s public and private school students on some of Baltimore’s finest baseball diamonds.

WHEN: Thursday, March 24, 2011 at 11 a.m.

WHERE: City Hall, rotunda

TOURNAMENT INFORMATION
· First Round
o Saturday, April 9, 2011 – 12 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. (Johns Hopkins University)
o Saturday, April 9, 2011 – 12 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. (Medfield Heights Elementary School)
· Semifinals
o Saturday, April 16, 2011 – 9 a.m. (Swann Park)
o Saturday, April 16, 2011 – 9 a.m. (Mount St. Joseph High School)
· Championship
o Saturday, April 16, 2011 – 1 p.m. (The field at Oriole Park at Camden Yards)

PARTICIPATING TEAMS
· Private Schools
o Boys’ Latin School of Maryland
o Friends School of Baltimore
o Gilman School
o Mount Saint Joseph High School
o St. Frances Academy
· Public Schools:
o On April 7, 2011 Baltimore City Public Schools’ Office of Interscholastic Athletics will choose the top three public schools to participate in the tournament.