Sacramento’s Jerry Manuel Foundation youth baseball team will receive an all-expense-paid trip to New York to compete in this month’s National Youth Baseball Championships through an urban youth initiative from water filtration brand Brita®.
Brita, the title sponsor of Steel Sports’s National Youth Baseball Championships, launched its urban youth initiative through the event this year. Through the initiative, Brita helped fund the participation of eight inner city baseball teams to participate at qualifying tournaments around the country. For the grand prize, one of the qualifying champions would be selected to receive an all-expense-paid trip to the National Youth Baseball Championships, including flights, hotel accommodations, transportation and meals for the entire team and coaching staff, fully paid by Brita.
After winning the 14U division in a qualifier this past March in Woodland, Calif., the Jerry Manuel Foundation team was selected to receive Brita’s grand prize trip to New York. For many of the competing players, this is the first time they will travel on an airplane and see New York.
“Our team is so excited and grateful for this opportunity to go across the country to play in the National Youth Baseball Championships,” Jerry Manuel Foundation head coach Anthony Manuel said. “Brita and Steel Sports have made this once-in-a-lifetime trip a reality, and we can’t wait to showcase our talent and compete with the best teams in the country.”
Former Major League player and manager Jerry Manuel founded the Jerry Manuel Foundation with the mission of targeting urban youth to educate them in the classroom and in the fundamentals of baseball. While the percentage of African-American players in Major League Baseball has dropped in recent decades, the Jerry Manuel Foundation wants to reverse that trend.
The Jerry Manuel Foundation team will fly to New York on July 24 and begin play at the National Youth Baseball Championships at Baseball Heaven on July 26. They will play one of their pool play games on national television on CBS Sports Network, and the game will also be streamed online at MLB.com.
“We are thrilled to help the kids on the Jerry Manuel Foundation team realize a dream and play at the National Youth Baseball Championships,” said Ed Huber, general manager of Brita. “Through this initiative we believe we are helping grow the appeal of baseball and spreading the message through urban communities that water is a better choice than sugary sports drinks. We’re pleased to provide the Jerry Manuel Foundation baseball team an opportunity to travel across the country and compete for a championship when they would not have been able to otherwise.”
“The Jerry Manuel Foundation baseball team is going to have a big league experience when they participate in the National Youth Baseball Championships,” Steel Sports CEO David Shapiro said. “Our mission is to improve the youth sports experience and help cultivate our future generations, and thanks to Brita, we’re able to have a major impact on the Jerry Manuel Foundation players.”
The National Youth Baseball Championships will be held on July 26-31, 2016 at Baseball Heaven in Yaphank, N.Y. The event, founded in 2008 by the late Chicago White Sox vice chairman Eddie Einhorn, brings together 9U-14U qualifiers from around the country to crown national champions.
For more information on the National Youth Baseball Championships and its qualifiers, visit NYBCbaseball.com.