Let�s Play Ball: Rookie League�s 25th Year

Let�s Play Ball: Rookie League�s 25th Year

July 09, 2013

After 25 years, Rookie League is still a home run amongst the nearly 1,100 young Toronto Community Housing residents that registered for camp this year.�

Made possible by the Jays Care Foundation, Rookie League is a summer baseball day camp that gives children living in Toronto Community Housing the opportunity to attend a free day camp, where they can learn and develop baseball, team building, leadership, and fair play skills.�

Rookie League participant practices his pitch, after getting pointers from J.P. Arcencibia.

Opening day for the 25th Rookie League season attracted bus loads of children ages 6-13, from 56 Toronto Community Housing neighbourhoods to Stan Waldlow Park in East York on Wednesday, July 4.

The kids came excited and ready to play ball rain or shine, decked out in their new Blue Jays T-shirts, hats, and knapsacks; excited to collect their new baseball equipment and lined-up for a chance to meet Blue Jays Catcher J.P. Arencibia.�

A group of Rookie Leaguers take turns showing off their skills to J.P. Arcencibia.

Arencibia, who was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in 2007, greeted the wound up crowd of junior athletes by encouraging them to continue to be physically active, saying it is �good for your health, metabolism, and keeping your mind fresh, but most of all it�s all while you�re having fun.��

He further encouraged his young fans to perfect their skills with continued practice. �It takes 10,000 practices to break a bad habit, you can never practice enough,� Arencibia said. �I am in the major leagues and I practice every day, so I can get even better. You have to continue to practice, nothing comes easily.��

Arcencibia ended his address to the young camp goers by saying, �I could do anything I put my mind to, and so can you,� signalling a cheer from the crowd and the opening of the 25th year of summer baseball.

``Rookie League gets bigger and bigger every year``, Toronto Community Housing President and CEO Eugene Jones Jr. said. �It attracts youth and children across the city, providing employment opportunities and a community based athletics programs for Toronto Community Housing residents.��

Back row- (left) Eugene Jones Jr., Toronto Community Housing CEO, Rob Drynan, Executive Director, Jays Care Foundation, Blue Jays Catcher, J.P. Arcencibia, and Jennifer Wood, Toronto Community Housing Board member, pose with a group of participants.

Rookie League wraps up on August 16 with an �All-Star� game and awards ceremony at the Rogers Centre, where participants will get a chance to meet and greet Toronto Blue Jays players.

To see video from the day, see our YouTube channel.

About Jays Care Foundation

The Toronto Blue Jays, 2012 recipient of the MLB Commissioner�s Award for Philanthropic Excellence, believe every child deserves the chance to reach their full potential, regardless of the challenges they face. Jays Care Foundation, the charitable arm of the Blue Jays, sets kids on a lifelong track to success by investing in charitable, community and baseball programs and facilities that focus on helping kids in need get active, excel academically and lead healthy lives. To date, Jays Care has invested more than $7.5 million in Canada�s children and communities.�

For more information, visit www.bluejays.com/jayscare, follow @JaysCare on Twitter, �like� Jays Care on Facebook

our website link: http://www.torontohousing.ca/rookieleague