A recent press release from the U.S. Conference of Mayors announced, in conjunction with Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball, that Branson, Missouri has been listed as a 2015 PLAY BALL City for PLAY BALL Month, August of 2015. During PLAY BALL Month, Branson will be hosting the Youth Baseball Network National Championship, Aug. 19-22, featuring great baseball played by youth teams, including the 2015 12U Champions from AABC, AAU, CABA, Dizzy Dean, and NABF. In addition, on Aug. 22, Branson Mayor Karen Best will host the Youth Baseball Olympics featuring a number of fun, baseball related activities.

In announcing Branson as a PLAY BALL City, the release said, “The cities are being designated based on the commitment by each city’s Mayor to sponsor a baseball or softball-related activity during August.

“For decades, baseball has had a unique ability to bring communities together, and today, Major League Baseball is seeking to strengthen that connection between our sport and cities across the country through our new PLAY BALL initiative,” said Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. “We are thrilled to begin this new and innovative partnership with Minor League Baseball and the U.S. Conference of Mayors, and I thank all the mayors who have stepped up to support this effort to provide fun experiences for kids and families during PLAY BALL Month.”…

“During this month, mayors across the country will host activities to engage children, citizens, families, and city departments to organize individual and community-based, baseball and softball-related events, such as playing catch, running bases, and more. The activities will be focused on strengthening bonds between families, communities, and the game.”

The listing of Branson as a 2015 PLAY BALL City is another step in recognizing the efforts of Branson towards developing baseball into a major activity. Gil Vieira, Founder and CEO of Youth Baseball Network, said, “We’re excited to have Branson as the host city of our very prestigious National Championship. Between the City of Branson, Branson CVB, Branson Tourism Center, and Ballparks of America, we’ve been able to build partnerships that will help develop Branson into the new ‘capital’ of youth baseball.” Jeff Seifried, President/CEO, Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce and Convention & Visitors Bureau, said, “We are delighted to welcome these teams from across the nation, and their families, to the inaugural YBN National Championship, and we look forward to hosting the National Championship for many years to come.”

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