07/08/2010 7:32 PM ET
2010 Aquafina Major League Baseball Pitch, Hit & Run to host national finals during 2010 MLB All-Star Week in Anaheim, Calif.
USA Gold Medal Softball Players Jennie Finch and Natasha Watley to Attend Championship Ceremony During 2010 State Farm Home Run Derby
Major League Baseball Properties and Aquafina today announced the 2010 Aquafina Major League Baseball Pitch, Hit & Run, the "Official Youth Skills Competition of Major League Baseball," will welcome USA Gold Medal Softball players Jennie Finch and Natasha Watley to attend the program's National Finals, which will take place on July 12 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, Calif. as part of 2010 All-Star Week events. After conducting over 4,000 nationwide competitions - including the first-ever nationwide Girls Softball Division - the youth skills program reached more than 600,000 boys and girls between the ages of seven and 14, providing an integrated competition that recognizes individual excellence in core baseball and softball skills. Aquafina, the "Official Bottled Water of Major League Baseball," is in its third year sponsoring the grassroots program following its sister brand, Pepsi, the "Official Soft Drink of Major League Baseball," which was the title sponsor between 2002 and 2007.
Finch and Watley will attend the Pitch, Hit & Run (PHR) National Finals and will later recognize the champions during an on-field ceremony during the 2010 State Farm Home Run Derby on July 12. The top nationwide competitors (names listed below) from each age group (7-8, 9-10, 11-12 and 13-14) have advanced to the PHR National Finals. The PHR program invited youth to demonstrate their pitching, hitting and running abilities and all 30 MLB Clubs hosted competitions at their ballparks earlier this season. The addition of the Girls Softball Division gave young girls the opportunity to be awarded and advance separately through all four levels of competition.
"Major League Baseball is committed to providing a positive environment for our youth, giving kids the chance to learn and grow both on the field and off," said John Brody, Senior Vice President, Corporate Sales and Marketing, Major League Baseball. "Through the generous support of Aquafina, the Pitch, Hit & Run program reached over half a million young people across America. We are proud to have these boys and girls participate in a unique event that gives them the chance to travel to the All-Star Game, put their skills on display and meet other players from different parts of the country."
"Aquafina is proud to join with Major League Baseball to support a program that encourages kids to strive for excellence through sports," said Jeff Dubiel, vice president of sports marketing for Pepsi-Cola North America Beverages. "Having Jennie Finch and Natasha Watley involved in recognizing the kids who excelled in the program is a home run. I can think of no better way to inspire and reward the 600,000 kids who participated in Pitch, Hit & Run this year than with personal recognition during All Star week by two of the sport's most accomplished athletes."
This is the 14th year MLB has run a youth skills program. Information regarding dates, times and locations of local competitions as well as entry forms and other materials for the 2010 Aquafina Major League Baseball Pitch, Hit & Run initiative are available online at www.MLB.com/PHR.
2010 National Finalists
|7-8 Year Old Girls Age Division|
|Madison Walker||Lynchburg, VA||Washington Nationals|
|Kassidy Millar||Marysville, WA||Seattle Mariners|
|Erin Porter||Rock Falls, IL||Chicago White Sox|
|7-8 Year Old Boys Age Division|
|Brayden Tava||St. Clair Shores, MI||Detroit Tigers|
|Riggs Newell||Tallahassee, FL||Tampa Bay Rays|
|Cory Taylor||Morgan Hill, CA||Oakland Athletics|
|9-10 Year Old Girls Age Division|
|Alexis Peri||Satellite Beach, FL||Tampa Bay Rays|
|Jessica Lynch||Queen Creek, AZ||Arizona Diamondbacks|
|Libby Darden||Smithfield, VA||Washington Nationals|
|9-10 Year Old Boys Age Division|
|Nicholas Biddison||Glen Allen, VA||Washington Nationals|
|Charles Mack||North Tonawanda, NY||New York Mets|
|Storm Ricciotti||Windsor, Ontario||Toronto Blue Jays|
|11-12 Year Old Girls Age Division|
|Hannah Thornhill||Heuvelton, NY||New York Yankees|
|McKenzie Winkler||Moody, TX||Houston Astros|
|MacKenze Gudde||Sedalia, MO||Kansas City Royals|
|11-12 Year Old Boys Age Division|
|Jake Taylor||St. Petersburg, FL||Tampa Bay Rays|
|Jonathan Hanson||Torrance, CA||Los Angeles Angels|
|Alex Hoss||Stafford Springs, CT||New York Mets|
|13-14 Year Old Girls Age Division|
|Kristi Miceli||Port Monmouth, NJ||New York Mets|
|Kayla Douglas||Santa Rosa, CA||San Francisco Giants|
|Madison Collins||Granada Hills, CA||Los Angeles Angels|
|13-14 Year Old Boys Age Division|
|Michael DeCosta||Warren, RI||Boston Red Sox|
|Caleb Potter||Mentor, OH||Cleveland Indians|
|Tyler Stephens||New Berlin, WI||Milwaukee Brewers|
Aquafina (www.aquafina.com) is a product of PepsiCo Beverages Americas (PBA). In addition to Aquafina, PBA's brands include the Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Sierra Mist and Mug trademarks. PBA is a division of PepsiCo, which offers the world's largest portfolio of billion-dollar food and beverage brands, including 19 different product lines that each generates more than US$1 billion in annual retail sales. Our main businesses - Frito-Lay, Quaker, Pepsi-Cola, Tropicana and Gatorade - also make hundreds of other nourishing, tasty foods and drinks that bring joy to our consumers in more than 200 countries. With annualized revenues of nearly US$60 billion, PepsiCo's people are united by our unique commitment to sustainable growth, called Performance with Purpose. By dedicating ourselves to offering a broad array of choices for healthy, convenient and fun nourishment, reducing our environmental impact, and fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace culture, PepsiCo balances strong financial returns with giving back to our communities worldwide. In recognition of its continued sustainability efforts, PepsiCo was named for the third time to the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index (DJSI World) and for the fourth time to the Dow Jones Sustainability North America Index (DJSI North America) in 2009. For more information, please visit www.pepsico.com.
About Major League Baseball Properties
The Major League Baseball Clubs formed Major League Baseball Properties (MLBP) in 1966 as the Clubs' agent for marketing and trademark licensing and protection. Major League Baseball Properties is responsible for managing consumer licensing activities, developing national advertising campaigns, cultivating sponsorship opportunities with major consumer brands and corporations, growing the game and the business of baseball outside the United States and creating national marketing programs in conjunction with Clubs, broadcast rightsholders and national sponsors. MLBP also operates a full-service video and audio production unit (Major League Baseball Productions), a publishing division and stock photo licensing agency, and manages logistics for the All-Star Game and World Series as well as all other special events. For more information on Major League Baseball, log on to www.MLB.com.