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PR- 267-07
August 1, 2007


Second Annual Tee-Ball Tournament Held on Gracie Mansion Lawn Welcomes Boys and Girls Ages Five and Six to Celebrate Youth Athletics and Community Sports

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today teamed up with Yankees Manager Joe Torre and President of the Roberto Clemente Foundation, Roberto Clemente, Jr. to kick-off the second annual Gracie Mansion Tee-Ball Tournament. Dozens of Little Leaguers from all five boroughs ages five and six played a series of tee-ball games on the Gracie Mansion lawn. The tournament, started in 2006 to celebrate and promote community sports and a commitment to teamwork, sportsmanship and fair play among young athletes, is organized and sponsored by the Roberto Clemente Foundation, Little League International and Thacher Proffitt & Wood LLP.  The Mayor was also joined by representatives and coaches from Little League of New York and “Mr. Met,” the mascot of the New York Mets.

“I am excited to turn Gracie Mansion into our own Field of Dreams today,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Sports and recreation play an important role in improving the lives of kids across the City. In all five boroughs, children are becoming strong and healthy while learning about teamwork, sportsmanship, fair play and physical fitness. And you never know - we could have the next Derek Jeter or Carlos Beltran here this morning!”

“Tee-Ball at Gracie Mansion continues to remind us of the crucial role that baseball and community-based events play in shaping our children,” said Roberto Clemente Jr. “Along with Michael Bloomberg and the Roberto Clemente Foundation, we look forward to making this another great event that will encourage fitness, teamwork and most importantly self esteem!”

The second Annual Gracie Mansion Tee-Ball Tournament was made possible with the help of the Roberto Clemente Foundation. Little League of New York District Administrators were responsible for organizing teams from each borough. The event was also sponsored by the law firm of Thacher Proffitt & Wood LLP with donations for the children from Major League Baseball, the New York Yankees, the New York Mets, Topps, Modell’s Sporting Goods and Nike. The National Anthem was performed by singer Jenny Colon.

Tee-Ball is considered the gateway sport to baseball and softball for young athletes ages four to eight. Members of two teams take turns hitting a ball off a batting tee set on home plate. Tee-ball develops the primary baseball skills of hitting, running, fielding and throwing. According to the T•Ball USA Association, tee-ball is played in every state and territory and internationally.

Little League Baseball, founded in 1939, is a non-profit organization whose mission is “to promote, develop, supervise, and voluntarily assist in all lawful ways, the interest of those who will participate in Little League Baseball and Softball.” Through proper guidance and exemplary leadership, the Little League program assists youth in developing discipline, teamwork, citizenship and physical well-being.

The Roberto Clemente Foundation is dedicated to Roberto Clemente, Sr.’s vision of developing and improving the lives of inner-city youth. Founded by the Clemente family and spearheaded by his sons Roberto Jr. and Luis Clemente, the Foundation works with community organizations and businesses to enhance recreational programs and educational incentives for youth while teaching them the importance of community service.  The Foundation is proud to team up with The City of New York and Little League to bring tee-ball to Gracie Mansion.


Stu Loeser/Evelyn Erskine   (212) 788-2958

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