CWRU to Host Games for MLB All-Star Weekend Youth Baseball & Softball Tournaments

CWRU to Host Games for MLB All-Star Weekend Youth Baseball & Softball Tournaments

As the baseball world converges on the City of Cleveland for the 2019 All-Star Game, Case Western Reserve University has teamed up with Major League Baseball to host games for the All-Star Commissioner's Cup and the Jennie Finch Classic leading up to the Midsummer Classic at Progressive Field.

The All-Star Commissioner's Cup is a competitive baseball tournament featuring 10 teams of youth baseball players (ages 17 and under) from MLB Youth Academies from around the country and Puerto Rico.  The games will be played at both Cleveland's Historic League Park and Nobby's Ballpark at Case Western Reserve.

MLB youth baseball teams participating in the event include Cleveland Indians Youth Baseball (Cleveland, Ohio), MLB Youth Academy (Compton, Calif.), New Orleans MLB Youth Academy (New Orleans, La.), Houston Astros MLB Youth Academy (Houston, Texas), P&G MLB Cincinnati Reds Youth Academy (Cincinnati, Ohio), Philadelphia Phillies MLB Urban Youth Academy (Philadelphia, Pa.), Texas Rangers MLB Youth Academy (Dallas, Texas), Kansas City Royals MLB Urban Youth Academy (Kansas City, Mo.), DREAM (Harlem, N.Y.) and Elite Development Training Program (Gurabo, Puerto Rico).

Play for the All-Star Commissioner's Cup at CWRU will begin on Friday, July 5th with five games, followed by three games on Saturday, July 6th and a pair of games on Sunday, July 7th.  Play each day will begin at 8:00 a.m.

The Championship game will be held at 12:30 p.m. at Nobby's Ballpark on Monday, July 8th.

The Jennie Finch Classic, named after the legendary Olympic Gold Medalist and MLB Youth Softball Ambassador, is a competitive softball tournament featuring 10 teams of youth softball players (ages 17 and under) from MLB Youth Academies and Jennie Finch programming. Both Finch and Natasha Watley, also an Olympic Gold Medalist and MLB Youth Softball Ambassador, will be in attendance during various portions of the tournaments.

CWRU will host the championship game of the tournament at Mather Park at 1:00 p.m. on Monday, July 8th

Participating teams include Cleveland Indians Youth Softball (Cleveland, Ohio), MLB Youth Academy (Compton, Calif.), New Orleans MLB Youth Academy (New Orleans, La.), Houston Astros MLB Youth Academy (Houston, Texas), P&G MLB Cincinnati Reds Youth Academy (Cincinnati, Ohio), Philadelphia Phillies MLB Urban Youth Academy (Philadelphia, Pa.), Texas Rangers MLB Youth Academy (Dallas, Texas), Kansas City Royals MLB Urban Youth Academy (Kansas City, Mo.), DREAM (Harlem, N.Y.) and Finch's Aces (Flemington, N.J.).

Over the last eight years (2012-19), the first round of the MLB Draft has featured 63 players out of 312 selections (20%) coming from diverse backgrounds, including a large percentage of alumni from MLB-led programming. Among the alumni are JP Crawford (Seattle Mariners), Dominic Smith (New York Mets), Hunter Greene (Cincinnati Reds), Corey Ray (Milwaukee Brewers), Dillon Tate (Baltimore Orioles), all of whom participated in MLB Youth Academies and/or RBI programs.

Located in underserved communities, MLB Youth Academies provide low-/cost-free, year-round baseball and softball instruction. In addition to on-field instruction, Academies also offer educational (e.g., SAT/ACT Prep) and vocational opportunities that could lead to various baseball-oriented careers. The network includes MLB Youth Academies in the Bronx, Cincinnati, Compton, Dallas, Gurabo (Puerto Rico), Houston, Kansas City, New Orleans, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C.