Every child should have a chance to experience all the great things about baseball, from learning about teamwork and sportsmanship, to the fun of being outdoors with friends and slugging your first home run. I hope baseball fans everywhere will join me in applauding the Principal Financial Group Family Fun Fest, Xbox 360 and Best Buy in supporting the efforts of 'Pitch In For Baseball'.
Glen Ridge, NJ (PRWEB) January 29, 2008
In 2008 the Principal Financial Group Family Fun Fest will celebrate its Fifth Anniversary as the country's first and most extensive traveling baseball festival in history. Launched in 2004, the tour visits minor league ballparks all across the country each season and has been attended by over 1.2 million fans. The Fifth Anniversary edition will be its biggest yet with first time stops at MLB Spring Training games, as announced today by tour creator and producer Entertainment and Sports International. The Principal Financial Group continues as exclusive title sponsor.
"The minor leagues offer fans a great baseball experience," says Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan, minor league team owner and National Spokesperson for the Principal Financial Group Family Fun Fest. "From exceptional value to a safe, family environment; fans get to see competitive professional baseball with non-stop entertainment. The Principal Financial Group Family Fun Fest extends that excitement before the game with an event truly unique to minor league ballparks."
Open three hours before the game and set up right outside the main stadium gates, the event is free to all fans and features more than 20 baseball themed attractions including a minor league baseball museum featuring exclusive video from the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, a state of the art Xbox 360 Best Buy Home Run Derby Video Game Trailer with the latest baseball and family games, free souvenir personalized Days Inn baseball cards and Sports Illustrated for Kids magazine covers, a midway with batting and pitching cages, giant slides, bounce houses, carnival games, bungee runs, and a special "Rookie Zone" for younger fans.
Also this year, the Principal Financial Group Family Fun Fest will give fans the opportunity to share the game of baseball with kids around the world through "Pitch In For Baseball", a national non-profit organization whose mission is to collect new and used baseball and softball equipment and give it to young people in underserved communities. "Playing baseball may not solve all of the world's problems, but it can certainly help," states baseball superstar Reggie Jackson. "Every child should have a chance to experience all the great things about baseball, from learning about teamwork and sportsmanship, to the fun of being outdoors with friends and slugging your first home run. I hope baseball fans everywhere will join me in applauding the Principal Financial Group Family Fun Fest, Xbox 360 and Best Buy in supporting the efforts of 'Pitch In For Baseball'." Anyone donating new or used equipment to the special collection tent will receive valuable coupons from Xbox 360 and Best Buy, and an exclusive home team ticket offer.
In addition to the fun and excitement on the midway, ESI established the Principal 401-K Challenge which puts teams on the tour in a heated race to be the first to record 401 home strikeouts (K's), receive the prestigious 401-K Challenge Cup and give one of their fans voting for the team a $5,000 Sweepstakes Grand Prize. Each participating team also presents a winning local fan with a Best Buy gift card and membership to the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. The Huntsville Stars are the reigning champs.
The 2008 tour will launch on March 1 at a Florida Marlins Spring Training game at Roger Dean Stadium, and continue throughout the season, with the final event on August 29 at the Lakewood BlueClaws. For more information about the Principal Financial Group Family Fun Fest, go to: http://www.principal.com/funfest.
2008 Principal Financial Group Family Fun Fest Tour Stops
3/1-31 Florida MLB Spring Training
3/1 Florida Marlins (Jupiter)
3/2 St. Louis Cardinals (Jupiter)
3/8 Toronto Blue Jays (Dunedin)
3/9 Philadelphia Phillies (Clearwater)
3/15 New York Mets (Port St. Lucie)
3/22 Washington Nationals (Viera)
3/23 Detroit Tigers (Lakeland)
4/25 Birmingham Barons (Alabama)
4/27 Huntsville Stars (Alabama)
5/2 Charleston RiverDogs (South Carolina)
5/4 Augusta GreenJackets (Georgia)
5/6 Asheville Tourists (North Carolina)
5/9 Winston-Salem Warthogs (North Carolina)
5/11 Charlotte Knights (North Carolina)
5/15 Salem Avalanche (Virginia)
5/16 Frederick Keys (Maryland)
5/18 Harrisburg Senators (Pennsylvania)
5/20 Wilmington Blue Rocks (Delaware)
5/24 Portland Sea Dogs (Maine)
5/26 Pawtucket Red Sox (Rhode Island)
5/27 New Britain Rock Cats (Connecticut)
5/30 Syracuse Chiefs (New York)
6/1 Rochester Red Wings (New York)
6/4 South Bend Silver Hawks (Indiana)
6/6 Cedar Rapids Kernels (Iowa)
6/8 Peoria Chiefs (Illinois)
6/12 Schaumburg Flyers (Illinois)
6/14 Rockford Riverhawks (Illinois)
6/18 Lincoln Saltdogs (Nebraska)
6/20 Iowa Cubs (Des Moines)
6/22 Kansas City T-Bones (Missouri)
6/25 St. Paul Saints (Minnesota)
6/28 Omaha Royals (Nebraska)
7/1 Springfield Cardinals (Missouri)
7/3, 4 Tulsa Drillers (Oklahoma)
7/6 Oklahoma City RedHawks (Oklahoma)
7/10 Arkansas Travelers (North Little Rock)
7/13 Round Rock Express (Texas)
7/18 Fort Worth Cats (Texas)
7/21 Corpus Christi Hooks (Texas)
7/25 Tucson Sidewinders (Arizona)
7/29 Modesto Nuts (California)
7/30 Sacramento RiverCats (California)
8/5 Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (California)
8/8 Las Vegas 51s (Nevada)
8/11 Salt Lake Bees (Utah)
8/16 River City Rascals (Missouri)
8/19 Evansville Otters (Indiana)
8/23 Fort Wayne Wizards (Indiana)
8/27 Akron Aeros (Ohio)
8/29 Lakewood BlueClaws (New Jersey)
All dates and teams subject to change.