At today’s quarterly Major League Baseball owners’ meeting, a report prepared by the Sports & Fitness Industry Association shows that with nearly 25 million participants, baseball and softball combined to rank as the most participated team sports in the United States.
In commenting on the report, MLB Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. said, “No goal is more important to Major League Baseball than making baseball and softball accessible and to engage with children in all communities. The results of the SFIA Report demonstrate that participation in baseball and softball is growing. We are encouraged by the success of the PLAY BALL initiative toward our objectives and grateful for partnerships with USA Baseball, USA Softball and the US Conference of Mayors. Together, we will continue to work to provide memorable experiences for young people, especially those from underserved areas.”
Mayor Mick Cornett, Mayor of Oklahoma City and President of the United States Conference of Mayors stated: The US Conference of Mayors is pleased to have joined with Major League Baseball over the past three years on its Play Ball program. Over 200 mayors this summer will be conducting activities to promote our great national pastime and encourage kids to have active and healthy lifestyles. The numbers being released today on the growth of baseball and softball in our cities by young people shows that our efforts are working.”
In 2015, Major League Baseball launched the “Play Ball’ initiative as the sports largest collective effort to encourage young people to participate in baseball or softball activities, including formal leagues, special events and casual forms of play. Over the past three summers, hundreds of mayors across the country have initiated and participated in baseball activities with their local young people.
Further information on USCM Play Ball program can be found at usmayors.org/play-ball.