Office of the Attorney General
Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation Teams With Attorney General Conway And Louisville Slugger To Provide Badges For Baseball

Press Release Date:  Tuesday, May 05, 2009  
Contact Information:  Allison Gardner Martin
Communications Director
502-696-5651 (office)

The Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation and Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway today announced the kick off of the 2009 Badges for Baseball program at a staff-training event at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Kentuckiana, Shawnee Unit, located at 317 N. 38th St., in Louisville.  Attorney General Conway addressed program participants at a 10:30 a.m. press conference.

Badges for Baseball is being implemented as a pilot program in partnership with the Kentucky Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs, the office of the attorney general of Kentucky, Louisville Slugger, and the Louisville Metro Police Department.  The pilot program will be offered to youth at the following locations: Boys & Girls Clubs of Kentuckiana Shawnee Unit; Salvation Army Boys & Girls Clubs: Parkland Unit, South Louisville Unit, Portland Unit and Newburg Unit.  Badges for Baseball is a crime prevention program designed to pair law enforcement professionals as mentors and coaches with youth.  The program serves as a positive outlet for youth during out-of-school hours when they are most likely to commit or become victims of crime.  Participating youth will learn the basics of baseball/softball while participating in the Foundation’s character development program, Healthy Choices, Healthy Children. 

Louisville Slugger, the Official Bat of Major League Baseball and celebrating its 125th anniversary this baseball season, will provide an equipment package valued at more than $10,000 to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Kentuckiana and the Salvation Army Boys & Girls Clubs.  In addition, the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation will provide a $10,000 cash grant, training, curriculum and opportunities for participants to travel to Aberdeen, Md. for a summer camp experience.  The total value of this first-year initiative is over $25,000.

“Louisville is a community known for baseball, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to see this program become a reality in my hometown,” Attorney General Conway said.  “Badges for Baseball has the potential to change the lives of at-risk children in this community, and I appreciate Louisville Slugger stepping up to the plate to make a difference in the lives of Kentucky kids.”

Attorney General Conway learned about the program when attending a National Association of Attorneys General meeting.  Attorney General Conway introduced members of the Ripken Foundation to members of Kentucky’s congressional delegation, Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson and representatives from the Louisville Metro Police Department.  All of these partners, along with the Kentucky Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs, made Badges for Baseball in Louisville a reality.

“We’re excited to be partnering with Attorney General Conway and Louisville Slugger to provide the Badges for Baseball program to youth of the Louisville area,” said Steve Salem, executive director of the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation.  “Attorney General Conway and Louisville Slugger share the Ripken family’s passion for youth development and providing opportunities for youth to learn and grow – we couldn’t ask for better partners.

We’re looking forward to a terrific pilot year in 2009 and together looking for ways to expand this Badges for Baseball program,” Salem added.  “The program brings important messages of respect, work ethic, leadership and perseverance to young people across the state of Kentucky.”

To support the 2009 Badges for Baseball program, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Kentuckiana and Salvation Army Boys & Girls Clubs will receive:

  • $10,000 cash grant
  • $10,000 baseball/softball equipment courtesy of Louisville Slugger
  • Healthy Choices, Healthy Children program materials and on-going staff training
  • “Ripken Way” baseball/softball clinics
  • Opportunity for five youth participants to travel to Maryland for a Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation Summer Camp

About the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation
The Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation uses baseball and softball themed programs to help build character and teach critical life lessons to disadvantaged youth residing in America’s most distressed communities.  Founded in 2001 by members of the Ripken family in memory of their patriarch Cal, Sr., the Foundation works to create programs that positively impact disadvantaged youth through active community partnerships with America’s most successful youth service organizations.

About Louisville Slugger
Louisville Slugger® is the Official Bat of Major League Baseball and its name is synonymous with America’s pastime.  Originating in 1884, Louisville Slugger bats graced the hands of the greatest players in baseball history including Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio, Jackie Robinson, Hank Aaron and Cal Ripken, Jr., to name just a few.  Sixty percent of today’s MLB players swing Louisville Slugger bats including Derek Jeter, Dustin Pedoria, Jim Thome and Ken Griffey, Jr.  Louisville Slugger also makes TPX® baseball equipment for college, high school and youth players, as well as TPS® equipment for slow-pitch and fastpitch softball players.  Louisville Slugger is a brand of the Hillerich & Bradsby Co., a fifth generation family-owned business that also operates the world class Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory® and makes PowerBilt® golf clubs and Bionic® Gloves for a variety of sports and hobbies.