Over 110 locally owned and operated Papa John’s franchisees in the Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia area are proud partners again this year with the Washington Nationals and Max Scherzer to support the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy.
Sales of the “Max Scherzer Special” - which donates 10% of each Special ordered to the Academy - generated a donation of more than $13,000 last year to support academic enrichment, baseball and softball instruction, and nutrition education for the Scholar Athletes enrolled in the Academy’s after-school program. The “Max Scherzer Special” will be available again during the 2019 Nationals season featuring 31% off regular menu price pizzas, with 10% of the discounted purchase price donated directly to the Academy. The Max Scherzer Special will be valid from April 28 through the end of the Nationals 2019 regular season.
In 2018, local Papa John’s franchisees also committed to donating $10,000 to the Academy for every strikeout Max Scherzer threw in the 2018 MLB All-Star Game. Scherzer’s four strikeouts in the game spurred a $40,000 donation from these local franchisees. This contribution provided the necessary uniforms, bats, balls, and gloves for the Academy’s YBA PLAY program.
YBA PLAY - a joint initiative by Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association - offers free, non-competitive baseball and softball clinics that immerse youth in a positive culture that cultivates excellence and performance mastery through an emphasis on teamwork, effort, continual learning, and a love of baseball and softball. The clinics are available for boys and girls, ages 6-12, in Ward 7 who are new to the game or are already playing.
Over the course of the six-week season, YBA PLAY participants receive a full uniform, have one practice, and play one game each week using modified rules that make the game more engaging for young ballplayers. Parents receive a Positive Coaching Alliance workshop to help use baseball’s endless procession of teachable moments to reinforce positive character traits. YBA PLAY envisions a future where participants grow to become lifelong baseball fans, coaches, and leaders for the next generation.
Established in 2015, YBA PLAY has grown from 50 to 800 participants. In 2019, YBA PLAY will serve up to 1,000 kids and expand to Ward 8. The majority of D.C. youth reside in Ward 8, but it is an area of the city that has limited youth sports opportunities.
Since 2017, Papa John’s local franchisees have raised over $90,000 for the Academy, with the help of Max and Erica Scherzer. The franchisees are committed to continuing to provide young men and women with opportunities to participate in constructive baseball and softball activities throughout the year, all free-of-cost to them and their parents.