For Immediate Release
June 21, 2006
White House South Lawn Tee Ball
White House Tee Ball
June 23, 2006 - 1:20 p.m.
McGuire Air Force Base Little League Yankees
McGuire Air Force Base, New Jersey
Tee Ball Commissioner of the Game: General Peter Pace, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Play-by-Play Announcer: Tim Brant, ABC Sports and WJLA-TV
Honorary First Base Coach: Captain Sean Sullivan, Naval Submarine Base New London, Groton, CT
Honorary Third Base Coach: Colonel Frederick "Rick" Martin, McGuire Air Force Base, New Jersey
National Anthem Singer: Seth Fallon, "Maryland State Boychoir", Parkville, Maryland
Color Guard: Naval Sea Cadets Corps Color Guard, Charette Battalion, Adelphi, Maryland
Game Ball Presenter: Seven-year old Zane Ellingwood from Cumberland, Maryland, will hand President Bush the game ball. Zane founded "America's Littlest Heroes" last year, when he was six years old. He delivers balloons, free of charge, and he dresses up as a clown for military children on their birthday's. He wants to spread cheer to children whose parents are overseas on their birthdays. "America's Littlest Heroes" also helps children receive free furniture.
Volunteer Recognition: The President is recognizing David Erbe of Rockville, Maryland, for teaching paralyzed soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center how to kayak. David volunteers his time after school to work with "Team River Runner".
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 a spirit of teamwork and service for America's youth. This is the sixth year of the President's White House Tee Ball Initiative, and this is the first game of the 2006 season. Teams are selected by Little League Baseball in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, and can be nominated online at www.littleleague.org.
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 absence 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.