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Rangers Baseball Tomorrow Fund Equipment Drive to assist youth programs in West

Arlington, Texas-In support of the ongoing commitment from Major League Baseball, its Clubs and the players to Increase opportunities for youth participation in baseball and softball, the Texas Rangers will once again with the Baseball Tomorrow Fund (BTF) to host an equipment collection drive in 2013.

It was announced today that this year's Equipment Drive will take place on Saturday, July 6 in conjunction with City of West Day at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. All donations made that day will benefit the Legacy West Education Foundation to help youth programs in West, Texas, which is recovering from the devastating explosion and fires on April 17.

This year marks the ninth season the Baseball Tomorrow Fund has teamed with Major League Baseball Clubs to supplement their existing equipment collection programs and to help facilitate the creation of new programs.

Rangers first baseman Mitch Moreland will serve as the Equipment Drive's honorary chairman for the third consecutive year. Fans may drop off new and gently used baseball and softball equipment at any entrance of Rangers Ballpark in Arlington from 4:00-6:45 p.m. on July 6.

In addition, the Baseball Tomorrow Fund will donate a $5,000.00 grant to the Legacy West Education Foundation for the purchase of youth baseball and softball equipment. Academy Sports + Outdoors will also be giving a $5,000.00 gift card to that organization.

The Baseball Tomorrow Fund Equipment Drive is part of the Rangers' event to host the residents and first responders from West. Several thousand individuals are expected to attend that night's 6:15 game versus the Cincinnati Reds. The event will include on-field ceremonies with participation from City of West officials and first responders, the Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation, and the Major League Baseball Tomorrow Fund. There will be also be a moment of silence for the 15 individuals who lost their lives during the tragedy in West. 

The Rangers will wear a SUPPORT WEST patch on the right sleeves of their game jerseys sleeves for the July 6 game. The jerseys will then be raffled to raise additional funds for the relief efforts. Raffle tickets will be sold at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on Friday, July 5 and Saturday, July 6 from the time gates open until 90 minutes after first pitch. On Friday, July 5, raffle tickets can also be purchased at the Rangers executive office during normal business hours.

Major League Baseball also donated $100,000.00 towards the relief efforts in West. More information on the on-field ceremonies will be announcing in the upcoming weeks.

Last year, over 15,000 pieces of equipment and over $300,000 in monetary contributions were donated to youth baseball and softball organizations in Major League markets in conjunction with the Equipment Day initiative. To date, nearly 100,000 pieces of equipment and approximately $1,250,000 in cash donations has benefited organizations in need.

"As we celebrate the ninth season of the initiative, the Baseball Tomorrow Fund would like to thank all of the Clubs, players and fans that have contributed to its success" said Cathy Bradley, Executive Director of the Baseball Tomorrow Fund. "Every single contribution helped grow baseball and softball in our communities and we look forward to greater success in 2013 and beyond."

The Baseball Tomorrow Fund (BTF) is a joint initiative between the Major League Baseball Players Association and Major League Baseball designed to promote the growth of youth baseball and softball throughout the world by awarding grants to support field renovation and construction projects, equipment and uniform purchases, coaches training material and other selected program expenses. Since its formation by MLB and the MLBPA in 1999, BTF has awarded over 600 grants totaling more than $22 million to non-profit and tax-exempt organizations in the U.S., Canada, Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe, Africa and Asia. Approximately 300,000 youth players have benefited from programs and facilities supported by the fund. BTF also facilitates league-wide initiatives including the collection and distribution of new and gently used equipment to organizations in need as well as field maintenance education clinics. For more information, visit baseballtomorrowfund.com and follow BTF on Facebook, Twitter and MLBlogs.

The equipment drive is sponsored in part by Academy Sports + Outdoors, Fox Sports Southwest and the Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation. For more information, call 817-273-5207 or visit www.texasrangers.com/equipment.

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