DELMARVA SHOREBIRDS AND UMES TURN A DOUBLE PLAY TO CREATE SCHOLARSHIP FUND FOR THE UNIVERSITY
June 18, 2005
Princess Anne, MD - The University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) and the Delmarva Shorebirds Professional Baseball Organization have announced a partnership between the two major sports organizations on the Eastern Shore. The Delmarva Shorebirds, a Class A Affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles and UMES, the only Division I program in the surrounding area, have joined forces to create a scholarship fund at UMES.
The scholarship, titled "Your Delmarva Shorebirds Scholarship Fund at UMES", will be set-up at the Princess Anne campus benefiting a UMES student. The scholarship will be funded with the proceeds from the Delmarva Shorebirds' upcoming Negro League Night. The Shorebirds plan to host another jersey auction to raise money for the scholarship.
Saturday night, June 18th at 7:05pm the first pitch will be thrown as the Delmarva Shorebirds will take on the Lakewood BlueClaws with the `Birds donned in the replica jerseys of the 1929 Baltimore Black Sox. Perdue Stadium will once again transform its 2nd floor concourse into an auction zone to befit a brand new partnership with the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. The evening will be highlighted by the presence of three former Negro League Greats - Al Burrows, Joe Durham, and William "Sonny" Randall. Players will be on hand as the special guests will sign autographs for the fans. The Spirit of Democracy American Legion Post #145 brings this wonderful evening of baseball and jersey auction to all of us. The jersey auction will conclude with a spectacular display of fireworks brought to us by Preston Millsboro Automotive Group.
"This is a brand new partnership Your Shorebirds have established, we are extremely excited to work with UMES and to bring more of the community into Perdue Stadium. We have not had the chance to work with UMES much in the past and we think this Negro League Night is an excellent way to begin something great and something that will continue to grow well into the future," General Manager, Stephen C. Yaros stated. "Our players will wear these unique 1929 "Baltimore Black Sox" Jerseys to help show their support and appreciation to a league of men who fought so hard to bring the game of baseball to what it is today."
"While at the same time our fans will bid on the jerseys showing their support and help raise money for local students to be rewarded with a scholarship to put towards their education at UMES." Yaros added.
"We know that this is the start of a wonderful partnership," said Nelson E. Townsend, Director of Athletics at UMES. "We are both community minded organizations and working together only strengthens our efforts in having an impact on the area we both care so much about."
The Department of Athletics distributed tickets for Negro League Night to participants in the Art Shell Celebrity Golf Classic this past Thursday. The school also plans to host alumni, students and staff at various nights this summer at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium.
"There will also be a Shorebirds Night at a basketball game this season," said G. Stan Bradley, Assistant Director of Athletics for External Affairs at UMES. "This agreement will work both ways, we want the community to know we are both dedicated to making this partnership work to benefit the community."
The partnership, of course, begins officially tonight at the game. For over 100 years America's Pastime has been front and center in the sporting world. As Major League baseball rapidly expanded in an era where African Americans were not recruited or were not allowed to play at the professional level, that is when leagues of extremely talented ball players began to spring up around the country. Andrew "Rube" Foster formed the first successful Negro League in 1920. The Delmarva Shorebirds recognize that this is a piece of Professional Baseball history that will die in our lifetime and it is extremely important to recognize the great men who played the game so gracefully.
Al Burrows played for the Black Yankees and the Indianapolis Clowns and is now currently active within the community in the state of Maryland. Joe Durham, who played for the Chicago American Giants, was the second African-American player to play for the Baltimore Orioles. Durham was the first African-American to hit a homer for the Orioles. He is now very active in the Baltimore area and with the Orioles organization. William "Sonny" Randall who played on the famous Great Lakes Naval team with Larry Doby, also played for the Grays in the 1940's with Josh Gibson and Buck Leonard. Randall is still active today thinking and talking baseball at the ripe age of 89 years old; he will turn 90 in August.
This is the third game-worn jersey auction that The Shorebirds have provided to help raise money and benefit a great cause. The first two auctions benefited Women Supporting Women and the Alzheimer's Association. Saturday, June 18th will be an auction to support a scholarship that Your Shorebirds have created at UMES, keeping the money local and helping local students within the community to continue their education at a fine institution. Professor Christopher Harrington of UMES will display memorabilia on the 2nd floor concourse for fans to gather information as well as peruse through historic memorabilia. As well as long-time fan, Les Moore will display tables on the concourse promoting the importance and impact Negro League Baseball had on America's Greatest Pastime.
The Shorebirds would like to thank the ones who will make this evening a true success. Making the jersey auction available to all of the fans is The Spirit of Democracy American Legion Post #145. Assisting in the promoting and advertising of this event is Magic 98.9 of Clear Channel Radio of Salisbury. The outstanding show of BAY Fireworks following the game is courtesy of Preston Millsboro Automotive Group. Your Shorebirds also would like to thank and welcome University of Maryland Eastern Shore on a brand new partnership and forming "Your Delmarva Shorebirds Scholarship Fund" from the proceeds of this jersey auction.
The two organizations have ties that extend beyond their love of the community. Just last night The Delmarva Shorebirds announced their All-Decade Team, a team that includes current UMES Head Baseball Coach Bobby Rodriguez. Rodriguez served seven seasons as the hitting coach and first base coach at the Shorebirds, winning two South Atlantic League titles while there.
For ticket information on this extraordinary event or any other upcoming Shorebirds Baseball Games and exciting promotions, please call (410) 219-3112 or visit www.theshorebirds.com. For information on UMES Athletics call (410) 651-6496 or visit www.umeshawks.com.
Comcast-Spectacor is the Philadelphia based sports and entertainment firm which owns the Philadelphia Flyers, the Philadelphia 76ers, the Philadelphia Phantoms, the Wachovia Center and Wachovia Spectrum, Flyers Skate Zone community ice skating and ice hockey rinks and Comcast SportsNet. Comcast-Spectacor is also the principal owner of Global Spectrum, the fastest growing firm in the public assembly management field with more than 45 facilities throughout the United States and Canada; Ovations Food Services, a food and beverage service provider; and New Era Tickets, a full-service ticketing and marketing company for public assembly facilities. Comcast-Spectacor also owns the Bowie Baysox, the Delmarva Shorebirds, the Frederick Keys baseball teams, all affiliates of the Baltimore Orioles.
DELMARVA SHOREBIRDS CONTACT: Nicholas Mirabello (410) 219-3112 UMES ATHLETICS CONTACT: G. Stan Bradley (410) 845-1519