For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
July 25, 2003
White House South Lawn Tee Ball
July 27, 2003 -- 4:00 P.M.
The Oriole Advocates Challengers of Marley Area Little League
Glen Burnie, Maryland
The Ridley Police Challengers of Leedom Little League
Ridley Park, Pennsylvania
Guest Commissioner: Darrell Green, Washington Redskins star and
Chairman of the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation,
will be Guest Commissioner of White House Tee Ball for today's game.
Play-by-Play Announcer: Fred Hickman, Anchor and host of the New York Yankees pre-game and post-game report, YES Network.
Honorary First Base Coach: Pamela Danberg (Cooper City, Florida), Member of the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports and Paralympic Games silver medalist in swimming.
Honorary Third Base Coach: Jim Leatherman (Glen Arm, Maryland), Paralympic Games bronze medalist in sailing and gold and bronze medalist at the Wheelchair Basketball Worlds.
National Anthem Singer: Matthew Vollbrecht (Everett, Pennsylania).
Color Guard: Boy Scout Troop #258 from the Maryland School for the Deaf in Frederick, Maryland.
Live Military Band: The Marine Band Combo.
Game Ball Presenter: Kyle Stevenson, a 10-year-old former Titans Challenger Tee Ball player from Alexandria, Virginia will hand President Bush the game ball. He will be accompanied by his mother, Stephanie Hamlett, a civilian in the Air National Guard at Andrews Air Force Base.
Volunteer Recognition: The President will recognize Julie Hocker of Forest Hill, Maryland for answering his call to service and for her dedication to helping others. Julie is being honored for her outstanding volunteer activities including organizing blood drives for the American Red Cross, mentoring to youth of all physical abilities, and speaking to local elementary schools to help educate others about life as a student with a disability.
Facts about the President's White House Tee Ball Initiative
President Bush launched his White House Tee Ball Initiative to promote interest in baseball and foster a spirit of teamwork and service for America's youth. This is the third year of the President's White House Tee Ball Initiative, and this is the second game for the 2003 season.
What is tee ball? Tee ball is the entry sport to baseball for young players, generally four to eight years old. Tee ball develops the primary baseball skills of hitting, running, fielding, and throwing and gives children solid teamwork experience. Tee ball is played in every state and territory and in dozens of countries around the world. Participation is estimated at 2.2 million players -- 65% boys and 35% girls. Members of two teams take turns hitting a ball off a batting tee set on home plate. Batters try to get on base and advance to home; fielders try to prevent that from happening. The elimination of pitching allows children to participate without the fear of being hit by a pitched ball. The players gain an understanding of the fundamental rules, which allows minimally competitive league play at all age levels.
What is the Challenger League? Little League's Challenger division is organized for and features teams of mentally and physically disabled children. This division serves the needs of disabled children by providing the learning experience of tee ball and the camaraderie of team sports. The players range in age from 5 through 18. The Oriole Advocates is a charitable organization connected with the Baltimore Orioles that sponsors the Challengers of Marley Area Little League, and the Ridley Police Department sponsors the Challengers of Leedom Little League.
In the Challenger Division, players are accompanied by "buddies," who offer their assistance to the Challenger players when needed. This fellowship between the disabled and non-disabled on an athletic field is beneficial as it helps to develop socialization skills for both groups.
Where exactly will the games be played? On the southeast corner of the South Lawn near the fountain.
How are the teams selected? Teams are selected by Little League Baseball in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Teams can be nominated online at www.littleleague.org.