After battling D.C.'s second big snowstorm of the winter, the Nationals caravan arrived in Prince George's County for a special presentation with local officials. The team announced a new partnership with the county to support the growth of baseball through a variety of community programs.
Specifically, the partnership invites children to attend a youth baseball clinic at Nationals Park during the 2010 season and promises to send Nationals players to one or more youth clinics in Prince George's County this summer. The franchise will also donate tickets to Nationals games to youth and families.
"This is a perfect opportunity to speak to health and wellness, to speak to growing baseball and softball and to be able to then reach out to communities...and to the casual fans and/or folks that have never been to Nationals Park," said Chartese Burnett, Vice President of Communications and Community Relations for the Washington Nationals.
"We've got to reach out and spread our wings a little further and today is an opportunity to do that," Burnett continued. "What I think is special about this opportunity is the unique demographic in Prince George's County and [the ability] to further our multicultural outreach by reaching African Americans and Hispanics."
The Nationals also named Prince George's County as the recipient of the 2010 Baseball Equipment Drive to be held at Nationals Park on Sunday, June 6. During the equipment drive, the Baseball Tomorrow Fund will donate a $5,000 grant to the county to purchase new baseball equipment.
The Washington Nationals Dream Foundation also gave the Forestville Boys & Girls Club a $5,000 grant to assist with programming and equipment needs. The Forestville Boys & Girls Club is an organization with a 49-year history of teaching boys and girls the fundamentals of baseball.
Children from the Boys & Girls Club were present for the press conference and had a chance to interact with Nationals players during the event.
Former Pittsburgh Pirate and M-NCPPC's Chief of Sports, Health and Wellness, Steven Carter told the children a story about racial challenges he overcame during his career and encouraged the kids to take advantage of their opportunities.
He called all of the children up to the front to stand with the Nationals and said, "touch one of the players. Just look at who you are standing beside, boys and girls. You can be what they are."
After the press conference, the players signed autographs and took pictures with a long line of Nationals fans who braved the weather to meet their favorite players.
More pictures from the Nationals winter caravan are available on MASN's Facebook page!