Major League Baseball and Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig have named the Detroit Tigers as the 2013 recipient of the Commissioner's Award for Philanthropic Excellence, which was created to recognize the charitable and philanthropic efforts of MLB Clubs, it was announced today at the 2013 MLB Industry Meetings in Orlando, Fla. The Tigers were acknowledged for their "Detroit Tigers Anti-Bullying" program, which is a free, Michigan-wide educational program designed to help students and teachers manage the issue of bullying in schools. The Detroit Tigers Foundation, an affiliate of Ilitch Charities, will receive a $10,000 grant from Major League Baseball as part of this recognition.
"I am proud of the Detroit Tigers for making such a significant commitment to addressing the issue of bullying in their home state of Michigan," Commissioner Selig said. "The Tigers' efforts to educate young people and teachers about preventing and reducing bullying in schools throughout their state are remarkable, and I congratulate their entire organization for receiving this award. I also thank all of our Clubs for their philanthropic and charitable efforts this year. Once again, all 30 Clubs have been united in making a positive difference in communities across the United States and Canada and helping our game live up to our significant responsibilities as a social institution."
"On behalf of team owner Michael Ilitch and the Detroit Tigers organization, we are honored to receive the 2013 Commissioner's Award for Philanthropic Excellence," said David Dombrowski, Tigers President, CEO and General Manager. "This award is an acknowledgement of the Tigers steadfast commitment as a social institution. The prevalence of bullying in the lives of today's children is astonishing, and the resulting effect on its victims is frightening. We are especially proud to be part of the movement to prevent bullying and humbled to be recognized for our efforts."
The Detroit Tigers and the Detroit Tigers Foundation partnered with "Michigan KIDS" and the "Newspaper In Education" programs to develop "Strike Out Bullying," a component of the "Detroit Tigers Anti-Bullying" program that provides students and educators with tools to address and manage the issue of bullying in schools. The program is a baseball-themed educational supplement that is distributed throughout Michigan schools, reaching 90% of the state's counties. Since its launch in 2011, the "Detroit Tigers Anti-Bullying" program has reached nearly 250,000 students in schools throughout the state. Tigers players, including All-Star first baseman Prince Fielder, serve as role models in speaking out against bullying. For more information, please visit DetroitTigersFoundation.org.
Barbara L. McQuade, U.S. Attorney, Eastern District of Michigan said: "The U.S. Attorney's Office is proud to partner with the Detroit Tigers to raise awareness about the consequences of bullying. When sports heroes like the Detroit Tigers speak out about an issue, young people are far more inclined to listen."
Major League Baseball and its Clubs have supported several anti-bullying organizations and campaigns over the years, including the "It Gets Better" project and StopBullying.gov.
The Boston Red Sox were the recipients of the inaugural Commissioner's Award for Philanthropic Excellence in 2010 for their "Red Sox Scholars" program, which is administered by the Red Sox Foundation and creates educational opportunities for inner-city youth. The Chicago White Sox won the award in 2011 for their "White Sox Volunteer Corps," which is a unique initiative designed to activate the fan base with White Sox players, executives and staff in helping give back to the greater Chicago community through service. The Toronto Blue Jays and the Jays Care Foundation won the award in 2012 for their Toronto Blue Jays Baseball Academy, which orchestrates a series of initiatives that support young people by encouraging physical activity through baseball while also providing programs that offer important resources and help develop essential life skills.