Results tagged ‘ Major League Baseball ’

Baseball mourns shocking death of Jose Fernandez

Major League Baseball awakened Sunday to the tragic news that Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, one of the most talented and popular young players in the game, was among three young men who were killed in a boating accident in Miami Beach. Fernandez was only 24 years old but had already put his stamp on baseball.

I remember when he was the National League winner of the Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Award in 2013. In my role as secretary-treasurer of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, I conduct the telephone conference calls of the award winner to the writers. Working mostly in the American League, I did not know much about Fernandez other than his pitching record and that he was born in Cuba. I asked MLB publicist Mike Teevan if we needed a translator on the call.

“Are you kidding?” Mike said. “He speaks better English than we do.”

Fernandez, who I found out came to the United States as a 15-year-old and went to high school in Tampa, turned out to be an absolute delight that night both on the MLB Network cablecast of the awards show and the conference call. It was the beginning of a fine career for the righthander who came back from Tommy John surgery in 2014 to go 6-1 with a 2.92 ERA in 11 starts last year and have an All-Star season this year (16-8, 2.86 ERA). His career record was 38-17 with a 2.58 ERA.

Former Yankees first baseman Don Mattingly, now manager of the Marlins, was near tears when he spoke of Fernandez Sunday at Marlins Park where the scheduled game against the Braves was canceled.

“When I think of Jose, it’s going to be thinking of that little kid,” Mattingly said. “I see such a little boy in him with the way he played. There was just joy with him when he played. When he pitched, I think that’s what the guys would say, too, as mad as he would make you with some of the stuff he’d do, you’d see that little kid you see when you watch kids play Little League or something like that. That’s the joy that Jose played with and the passion he felt about playing. That’s what I think about.”

The Yankees released the following statement:

“On behalf of Hal Steinbrenner and the New York Yankees, we offer our deepest condolences to Jose Fernandez’s family and loved ones, and to the entire Miami Marlins organization he so joyfully and proudly represented.”

The only negative note in Fernandez’s career was a dust-up he had in 2013 with Yankees catcher Brian McCann, who was with the Braves at the time. Fernandez did an animated bat flip after he hit a home run and took a long stroll around the bases, which McCann reacted to by getting into his face. Fernandez apologized for his behavior, and he and McCann eventually became friends.

“Beyond devastating,” McCann said. “I woke up this morning and saw the news. It’s sickening. One of those competitors you loved competing against because you knew he was going to bring his best. He was one of the best pitchers in the game. What he did in a short amount of time was incredible.”

Yankees infielder Donovan Solano was a teammate of Fernandez in Miami. “When I played over there, we were very close,” Solano said. “[Adeiny] Hechavarria, Jose and me were very close; all the Latins over there were very close. I know his family; his mom, his grandma, his uncle. I’m so sad. I’m just so sorry for the family. I’m still in shock from the news.”

So are we all.

Yanks celebrating ‘PLAY BALL WEEKEND’

The Yankees are celebrating the inaugural ‘PLAY BALL WEEKEND,’ a league-wide effort by Major League Baseball and all 30 clubs to engage young baseball fans and honor the continued support of youth participation in baseball and softball. The initiative officially this weekend in ballparks around the majors.

Sunday, the Yankees will welcome a group of approximately 1,000 participants from local youth baseball and softball teams (ages 6-14) for a special opportunity to walk in a parade around the warning track prior to the 1:05 p.m. game against the White Sox.

As the Yankees take the field before the first pitch, they will be joined by members of the girls softball team from MS 22, a middle school in the Bronx just blocks away from Yankee Stadium. The girls will participate in a “Field of Dreams” and stand with the Yankees during the national anthem before engaging in an on-field cap exchange. The MS 22 girls softball team is coached by Christopher Astacio, the school’s physical education teacher. Following the national anthem, two children from the Bronx-based Little League Raiders Baseball will throw out ceremonial first pitches.

PLAY BALL WEEKEND is an extension of the PLAY BALL initiative (PlayBall.org), which was launched in 2015 as the sport’s largest effort to encourage widespread participation in both formal and casual baseball and softball activities. Additionally, clubs will collectively distribute more than 320,000 plastic bat & ball sets throughout the United States and Canada, both in ballparks and at community events.

Additionally, major league players, coaches and managers all will wear specially made PLAY BALL t-shirts during batting practice and PLAY BALL patches on their uniforms during the weekend’s games. PLAY BALL is a joint initiative between MLB and USA Baseball. In addition to encouraging
participation in both formal and casual baseball activities, PLAY BALL aims to give kids the opportunity to enjoy the game in a fun environment by highlighting the many ways baseball can be played and providing memorable experiences; introduce young people to the sport who otherwise may not have the chance to experience it; and offer a healthy and active lifestyle options where many of those opportunities are being offered less frequently.

PlayBall.org is the PLAY BALL initiative’s online home and is accessible via MLB.com, USABaseball.com and other partner websites. PlayBall.org features youth-oriented content, including baseball trivia and quizzes, and video highlights from MLB games, social media content, photos and a “Play Ball Near You” interactive map that locates local community leagues.

The site also features access to video podcasts and highlights from MLB Network’s new youth-focused show “Play Ball,” which airs at 10 a.m. Saturday and features interviews and on-field demonstrations with top players throughout the majors.

Yanks’ opener postponed to Tuesday

The Yankees will try again Tuesday to open the 2016 season. Monday’s scheduled opener against the Astros at Yankee Stadium was postponed due to forecasts of inclement weather. Tuesday’s forecast calls for brisk weather, but at least it is not supposed to rain. For the 1:05 p.m. start, the temperature may not get above 40 degrees, so dress appropriately.

Tuesday’s rescheduled Opening Day game will be broadcast on the YES Network, except in areas serviced by Comcast. Gates will open to fans with valid tickets at 11 a.m., and pregame events and ceremonies scheduled for Monday will take place prior to the rescheduled game Tuesday.

As a reminder, as part of Major League Baseball’s initiative to standardize security procedures at all 30 parks, all ticket holders are required to be screened via metal detectors before entering the Stadium. The Yankees strongly encourage all visitors to budget extra time for arrival and entry to Yankee Stadium for all home games.

Fans holding paid tickets for Monday’s game may use them for the rescheduled game or exchange their paid tickets for any regular season game at the Stadium through the end of the 2016 season, subject to availability.

Fans holding complimentary (COMP) tickets for Monday’s game must use them for the rescheduled game. COMP tickets or equivalent tickets bear no cash value and do not have any additional benefits that may be offered to tickets with a dollar value.

For complete information about the Yankees’ rainout policy, please visit http://www.yankees.com/rainout.

For tickets purchased through Yankees Ticket Exchange, please visit http://www.yankees.com/ticketexchange or call (800) 355-2396 for complete information about its rainout policy.

Let’s get it started

Enough with spring training already. Leave us get to the games that count, which starts Monday at Yankee Stadium with a rematch of last year’s American League wild card game opponents. The Yankees only hope the outcome will be different from the 3-0 setback they suffered last October against the Astros and modern-day Yankees killer Dallas Keuchel, the 2015 AL Cy Young Award winner.

For the 114th home opener in franchise history, the Yankees will open all gates and security check points at 11 a.m. Monday and strongly encourage ticketed fans to arrive early to avoid long lines and to enjoy the pre-game programming.

With crowds and security lines expected to increase closer to the 1:05 p.m. game time with Masahiro Tanaka on the mound, the Yankees recommend that ticketed fans arrive early and pre-register online to be eligible for expedited security checks that are available at Gate 2 and the Suite Entrance.

In accordance with a Major League Baseball mandate, additional enhanced security measures will be in place at all gates at the Stadium, and for the second year, the Yankees will offer expedited-access entry points through a partnership with CLEAR. Those registered in advance will be able to utilize Fast Access entryways for the quickest available entry into the building. In order to participate, fans must pre-register at https://sports.clearme.com/yankees. The Yankee Stadium CLEAR service is free.

Fans are invited to visit Monument Park, located in center field, and tour the New York Yankees Museum, presented by Bank of America. Each experience will open at 11 a.m. Monument Park remains accessible until 45 minutes prior to the scheduled game start time subject to capacity limitations. Please note the line to Monument Park may close earlier than the Park itself.

The Museum is located adjacent to Section 210 on the Main Level and tells baseball’s and the Yankees’ storied history through exhibits of historic artifacts. Admission is free for all ticketed guests. Current exhibits include: Five Great Teams: The 1927, 1939, 1961, 1977, and 1998 New York Yankees; Pinstripes in Bronze: Celebrating Monument Park’s Newest Honorees; The Skipper: Celebrating Joe Torre, Hall of Fame manager; and New Era Exhibit.

Fans may also watch the scheduled batting practice, which is scheduled to be ongoing throughout the early afternoon and ends at approximately 12:20 p.m.

The official pre-game ceremony will begin at approximately12:30 p.m. with the introduction of both teams on the baselines. As part of the Opening Day festivities, former Yankees outfielder Hideki Matsui, the 2009 World Series Most Valuable Player, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch. He will also be honored with the Pride of the Yankees Award at the 37th annual Homecoming Dinner following the game.

Matsui played seven seasons with the Yankees (2003-2009) and batted .292 with 140 home runs, 597 RBI and a .370 on-base percentage in 916 games and 3,348 at-bats. He played in two World Series (2003 and ’09) with the club, winning a championship in 2009 and was named MVP for hitting .615 with one double, three homers and eight RBI in 13 at-bats. Matsui also played three additional major league seasons with the Angels (2010), Athletics (2011) and Rays (2012).

Carmen Cusack, who is starring in the Broadway musical Bright Star, will perform the Star Spangled Banner as a giant American flag will be unfurled by 75 cadets from the United States Military Academy. The West Point Color Guard will present the colors. During the seventh-inning stretch, Michael Minarik, from Broadway’s Matilda The Musical, will perform “God Bless America.”

All those in attendance will also receive a Yankees magnetic schedule courtesy of AT&T.

Following Opening Day, the Yankees will play two additional games against Houston at 7:05 p.m. Wednesday and 4:05 p.m. Thursday. Ticket specials will run Wednesday (MasterCard $5/Military Personnel/Student Game) and Thursday (Military Personnel/Senior Citizen/Youth Game).

For a complete list of ticket specials, including game dates, seating locations, and terms and conditions, fans should visit http://www.yankees.com/ticketspecials. Please note that all ticket specials are subject to availability.

Tickets may be purchased online at http://www.yankees.com, http://www.yankeesbeisbol.com, at the Yankee Stadium Ticket Office, via Ticketmaster phone at 877-469-9849, Ticketmaster TTY at 800-943-4327 and at all ticket offices located within Yankees Clubhouse Shops. Tickets may also be purchased on Yankees Ticket Exchange at http://www.yankees.com/yte, the only official online resale marketplace for fans to purchase and resell tickets to Yankees games. Fans with questions may call 212-YANKEES [926-5337] or email tickets@yankees.com.

For information on parking and public transportation options to the Stadium, please visit http://www.yankees.com and click on the Yankee Stadium tab at the top of the page.

The Yankees recently announced the availability of mobile ticketing for the 2016 season. In addition to traditional hard stock paper tickets, the Yanks will offer fans the opportunity to receive mobile tickets on a fan’s Smartphone. Print-at-home paper tickets (PDFs) have been discontinued to further combat fraud and counterfeiting of tickets associated with print-at-home paper tickets (PDFs). For more information on mobile ticketing, visit http://www.yankees.com/mobile.

As part of MLB’s initiative to standardize security procedures at all 30 parks, ticket holders are required to be screened via metal detectors before entering Yankee Stadium. This procedure is a result of MLB’s continuing work with the Department of Homeland Security and is in addition to the bag-check policy in place throughout the league.

Metal detectors are located at all Stadium gates. Once ticket holders have been screened and have had their MLB-compliant bag and small personal handbag checked, they will have their tickets scanned. All Stadium gates are fully staffed and available for entry two hours prior to the game’s scheduled start time.

For security reasons, each ticket holders is permitted to bring into the Stadium only one MLB-compliant bag — presently defined by MLB as soft-sided and no larger than 16 inches by 16 inches by 8 inches — and only one smaller-sized soft-sided personal item (e.g., a handbag, clutch, tote or plastic grocery bag). All hard-sided bags and containers are strictly prohibited. All bags, personal items and their contents will be visually inspected before they are permitted into the Stadium. Bag-size bins will be used at entry inspection points to confirm the size of all bags and personal items, which must fit without assistance, modification or adjustment. There is no storage area for any items. To enable ticket holders to enter the Stadium in a more timely manner, the Yankees encourage them to remain aware of and comply with the bag policy, as well as consider carrying as little as possible. Please note security regulations may be amended at any time.

Pursuant to MLB requirements, all ticket holders, including children, must be screened. Infants and toddlers may be carried through the metal detectors; those children who are able to walk may be asked to walk through on their own. Those Guests who choose not to or who are unable to go through a walk-through metal detector have the option of being manually checked with a hand-held metal detector or a physical pat-down.

If a walk-through metal detector alerts a security officer to the presence of items that require further inspection, ticket holders will be directed to the side, where they will be screened via a hand-held metal detector or physical pat-down. When the items in question are discovered, fans will be asked to display them and/or allow a security officer to examine them. At this time, a security officer will determine whether or not these items will be permitted in Yankee Stadium.

Please note that the list of prohibited items at the Stadium includes (but is not limited to) laptops, firearms, knives or weapons of any kind, laser pens, glass, cans or aluminum bottles or thermoses, selfie-sticks, video cameras or other equipment designed for the sole purpose of video and/or audio recording, and hard-sided bags, such as briefcases. Please also note that there is no storage area for prohibited items. Ticket holders arriving by public transportation should take particular care not to bring any prohibited items, as no exceptions will be made. For a full list of prohibited items, please visit http://www.yankees.com and click on the Yankee Stadium tab at the top of the page.

MasterCard pre-on-sale starts at 10 a.m. Wednesday

Tickets for individual Yankees games at Yankee Stadium will be made available to the public through an exclusive MasterCard pre-on-sale online at yankees.com and yankeesbeisbol.com, and via Ticketmaster phone from 10 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 17, through 10 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 21. During the MasterCard pre-on-sale, all fans may purchase tickets using their MasterCard. For more information, please visit http://www.yankees.com/priceless.

Fans purchasing tickets during the pre-on-sale can take advantage of the “MasterCard Preferred Pricing” program. When fans purchase individual game tickets using MasterCard, they can save up to $15 per ticket in select seating categories for all 2016 regular season games.

For those using other accepted methods of payment, the on-sale will begin at 10 a.m. Monday, Feb. 22, at yankees.com and yankeesbeisbol.com, and via Ticketmaster phone only at 877-469-9849 and Ticketmaster TTY at 800-943-4327.

Beginning Tuesday, Feb. 23, tickets may be purchased at the Yankee Stadium Ticket Office and all Ticket Offices located within Yankees Clubhouse Shops.

As a complement to traditional hard stock paper tickets, the Yankees this year will make available mobile ticketing. Print-at-home paper tickets (PDFs) are being discontinued so as to further combat fraud and counterfeiting of tickets associated with print-at-home paper tickets (PDFs). In addition to traditional hard stock paper tickets, the Yankees will offer fans the opportunity to receive mobile tickets on a fan’s Smartphone. For more information on mobile ticketing, visit yankees.com/mobile.

As in past years, the Yankees will make available individual-game ticket value programs, including the MasterCard Half-Price Game Ticket Special, which allows fans to purchase tickets for select games during the 2016 season in select areas of the Terrace Level, Grandstand Level or Bleachers for 50 percent off the advance ticket price when using their MasterCard. Tickets for MasterCard Half-Price Games may be purchased in advance or on the day of the game, subject to availability.

For a complete list of ticket specials, including game dates, seating locations, and terms and conditions, fans should visit http://www.yankees.com/ticketspecials. Fans with questions may call 212-YANKEES (212-926-5337) or email tickets@yankees.com. Please note that all ticket specials are subject to availability. All individual-game ticket value programs exclude all Premium Games*.

* E-Saver Games – Fans can register at http://www.yankees.com/esaver to receive email ticket offers for E-Saver Games available only to Yankees email subscribers.
* MasterCard $5 Games – For select home games during the 2016 season, fans can purchase tickets in select areas of the Terrace Level, Grandstand Level or Bleachers for $5 when using their MasterCard. Tickets for MasterCard $5 Games may be purchased in advance or on the day of the game.
* Senior Citizen Games – Citizens (60 and older) can purchase reduced-priced tickets for themselves and one guest for select home games during the 2016 season. Prices range from $5 to $150, depending on the seat location. Any additional guest(s) must pay full price for his/her ticket(s). Tickets may be purchased only on the day of the game, beginning two hours before the scheduled start time of the game, at Yankee Stadium Ticket Windows, adjacent to Gate 4, and are subject to availability. All tickets are sold on a first-come, first-served basis. A valid proof of age must be presented at the time of purchase.
* Student Games – For Wednesday home games during the 2016 season, students who present their valid high school or college ID cards when purchasing tickets can receive one half-price ticket in designated seating locations. Tickets may be purchased ONLY on the day of the game at Yankee Stadium Ticket Windows, adjacent to Gate 4.
* Youth Games – All fans 14 and younger, when accompanied by an adult (18 and older), are eligible for half-price tickets in designated seating locations for Saturday, Sunday and select weekday 1:05 p.m. and 4:05 p.m. home games. Tickets may be purchased ONLY on the day of the game at Yankee Stadium Ticket Windows, adjacent to Gate 4.
* Military Personnel Ticket Special – Active military members can present their military identification card at designated Yankee Stadium Ticket Windows before Monday through Thursday home games and receive one complimentary ticket in the Grandstand Level or Bleachers, or purchase one half-price ticket in other areas in Yankee Stadium, excluding the Legends Suite, Champions Suite, Delta SKY360° Suite, Jim Beam Suite, Field MVP, Field MVP Club and Audi Yankees Club. Tickets may be purchased only on the day of the game, beginning two hours before the scheduled start time of the game, at Yankee Stadium Ticket Windows, adjacent to Gate 4.

*The term “Premium Game(s)” is defined as the Opening Day game, the Old-Timers’ Day game, the games scheduled for Aug. 13 (1996 World Series Champions 20th Anniversary Celebration) and Aug. 14 (Mariano Rivera Monument Park Plaque Dedication Day), all home games played against the Red Sox, Dodgers, Mets and Giants, and such other games during the regular season, as may be designated as premium games, on no less than seven days’ notice, no later than the first day of each month during the regular season.

SEASON TICKETS:
Yankees season ticket plans are now available on both a full-season and partial-season basis. For complete season ticket information, please visit yankees.com or yankeesbeisbol.com, contact the Season Ticket Sales and Service Department via email at seasontickets@yankees.com, or call 212-YANKEES (212-926-5337). Plans start at $90.

INDIVIDUAL GAME SUITES:
Yankee Stadium Individual Game Suites offer the ideal venue to host corporate or social group outings. Available on a per-game basis or in flex packs, Individual Game Suites provide all the benefits and comforts of the Suite experience. Suite capacities range from 12 to 74 guests and can be expanded to accommodate groups of up to 382 people. For more information, please contact Yankees Premium by phone at 718-508-3955 or via email at premium@yankees.com.

GROUP TICKETS:
Groups of 10 or more are eligible to take advantage of a variety of group ticket discounts. For complete group ticket information, please visit yankees.com or yankeesbeisbol.com, contact the Group Sales and Service Department via email at groups@yankees.com, or call 212-YANKEES (212-926-5337).

NOTICE: For the safety of every fan, all persons specifically consent to and are subject to metal detector and physical pat-down inspections prior to entry. Any item or property that could affect the safety of Yankee Stadium, its occupants or its property shall not be permitted into the Stadium. Any person that could affect the safety of the Stadium, its occupants or its property shall be denied entry.

WARNING: For the safety of everyone in Yankee Stadium, all fans must stay alert and be aware of their surroundings at all times, as during all batting practices, fielding practices and warm-ups and throughout the course of all baseball games and the baseball game experiences, hard-hit baseballs and bats and fragments thereof may be thrown or hit into the stands, concourses, walkways, concessions areas, Monument Park and all other publicly accessible areas within the Stadium. Further, fans concerned with their original ticketed location by reason of the foregoing should, at any time before or during the baseball game or the baseball game experiences, proceed to a Yankee Stadium Ticket Window, located adjacent to Gate 6 in the Great Hall, adjacent to the Yankees Team Store behind home plate in the Great Hall, or adjacent to Section 320C on the Terrace/Grandstand Level; however, please remember that: (a) any requested relocation is subject to availability; (b) any alternate seat or standing location may be in a section and/or level of the Stadium and/or within a price category that is not in the same section and/or level and/or price category of the Guests’ original ticketed location, regardless of their original ticketed location; and (c) any fan requesting relocation is responsible for paying the incremental price increase, if any, of the ticket price for the available alternate location. Relocation to a seat or standing location at a lower price than the price of the original ticketed location will not result in a refund or credit.

Please note that the backstop netting behind home plate is located between the inside of the Yankees dugout and the inside of the visitors dugout. The height of the backstop netting is reduced as it approaches each dugout.

NOTICE: The Yankees reserve the right, with or without refunding any amount paid by the ticket holder, to refuse admission to and/or eject any person who: (a) is or appears to be impaired; (b) deliberately conceals alcohol, illegal substances and/or other prohibited items while attempting to enter Yankee Stadium; (c) uses foul and/or abusive language; (d) displays and/or wears and fails to cover obscene, indecent and/or inappropriate clothing; or (e) exposes him/herself. Ticket holders acknowledge and agree that the Yankees’ ban on foul and/or abusive language and uncovered obscene, indecent and/or inappropriate clothing (i.e., clauses (c) through (e) above) does not violate their right to free speech and/or expression and that such time, place and manner of the restrictions are reasonable to maintain a family-friendly atmosphere for young Guests, ensure the safety of all fans and sports or event participants, and preserve the enjoyment of the game or event for all. In addition, ticket holders further acknowledge and agree that by entering the Stadium, they hereby consent to the ban on foul and/or abusive language and uncovered obscene, indecent and/or inappropriate clothing and waive, to the fullest extent they may legally and effectively do so, any objection they may now or hereafter have to such ban and the penalties that the Yankees may impose for any violation of the same.

SECURITY ENTRY AND CARRY-IN POLICY

Please note that for the 2016 season, additional enhanced security measurs will be in place. The Yankees will continue to offer expedited-access entry points at Yankee Stadium through a partnership with CLEAR — the secure biometric identity platform sanctioned by Major League Baseball and currently serving 13 airports in the United States. Ticketholders who are registered by CLEAR will be able to utilize Fast Access entryways, which will allow expedited entry into the building. Fans may pre-register for this free service at sports.clearme.com/yankees.

As part of MLB’s initiative to standardize security procedures at all 30 Major League parks, all people are required to be screened via metal detectors before entering Yankee Stadium. This procedure is a result of MLB’s continuing work with the Department of Homeland Security and is in addition to the bag-check policy in place throughout the league.

Metal detectors are located at all Stadium gates. Once ticketholders have been screened and have had their MLB-compliant bag, and small personal handbag, checked, they will have their tickets scanned. The Yankees strongly urge all fans to budget additional time for entry into the Stadium when planning their visits.

Before proceeding through metal detectors, ticketholders will be required to remove cell phones, cameras and any large metal objects from their pockets and place them in a small plastic container, which will be visually inspected, along with their MLB-compliant bag, and small personal handbag, by security personnel at a screening table alongside the metal detector. Only MLB-compliant bags — presently 16 inches by 16 inches by 8 inches or smaller — will be admitted. Fans’ belongings will remain in proximity to them throughout the screening process, and they can pick up their belongings at the end of the screening table once they have proceeded through the metal detector. Presently, the removal of belts, shoes and jackets is not required.

Pursuant to MLB requirements, everyone, including children, must be screened. Infants and toddlers may be carried through the metal detectors; those children who are able to walk may be asked to walk through on their own. Those who choose not to or who are unable to go through a walk-through metal detector have the option of being manually checked with a hand-held metal detector or a physical pat-down.

If a walk-through metal detector alerts a security officer to the presence of items that require further inspection, ticketholders will be directed to the side, where they will be screened via a hand-held metal detector or physical pat-down. When the items in question are discovered, fans will be asked to display them and/or allow a security officer to examine them. At this time, a security officer will determine whether or not these items will be permitted in Yankee Stadium.

‘Tex’ is Yanks’ Clemente Award nominee for 2015

Mark Teixeira is the Yankees’ 2015 nominee for the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet. Wednesday, Sept. 16, marks the 14th annual Roberto Clemente Day, which was established by Major League Baseball to honor Clemente’s legacy and to recognize officially the 30 club finalists for the award given annually to a major league player who best represents the game through positive contributions on and off the field, including sportsmanship and community involvement.

Teixeira, who is sidelined for the remainder of the season due to a right shinbone fracture, has been involved in charitable endeavors throughout his major-league career. In 2006, the first baseman and his wife, Leigh, established the Mark Teixeira Charitable Fund, an initiative that awarded several scholarships to students from multiple high schools in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area.

Three years later, Teixeira served as spokesman for the National Foundation for Cancer Research through the organization’s “Help Strike Out Sun Damage” program. He endowed a scholarship at his alma mater, Mt. St. Joseph High School in Baltimore, to honor his friend, Nick Liberatore, who died in a car accident while the two were in school together. Tex also established the Mark C. Teixeira Athletic Scholarship Fund at Georgia Tech, where he attended college.

Teixeira has been an avid supporter of Harlem RBI, a nonprofit organization in East Harlem, that provides more than 1,700 boys and girls with year-round academic, sports and enrichment programs. In 2010, he became a member of their board of directors and made a donation of $100,000 to the organization’s college preparation program. In 2011, he was honored at Harlem RBI’s “Bid for Kids” gala, which helped raise $2.25 million.

Since then, Teixeira has chaired the event each of the last four years as it has raised a combined $14.8 million. In 2011, he donated $1 million to Harlem RBI and launched his own “Dream Team 25” campaign to call on his fans to raise additional funds for its partnership with DREAM charter school to construct a 450-seat public charter school facility, community center, 87 units of low-income housing and a rebuilt public park. The project is designed to serve as a model for urban development.

In addition, Teixeira, who is the co-chair of the Harlem RBI’s $20 million Capital Campaign and the chair of its Home Run Leadership Council, continues to work with MLB to connect fellow players in support of local RBI programs around the country.

Teixeira has made personal visits to the Harlem facility, reading to students and providing baseball instruction to them. Notably, since Teixeira joined the organization, Harlem RBI has expanded its efforts to reach Mott Haven in the South Bronx, with special attention on the Paterson Houses. This year he organized Yankees teammates Alex Rodriguez and Brett Gardner to participate in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge along with Harlem RBI youth.

The Yankees will recognize Teixeira’s nomination for this year’s Roberto Clemente Award with an on-field ceremony Thursday, Sept. 24, prior to their 7:05 p.m. game against the White Sox.

Beginning on Roberto Clemente Day, fans are encouraged to participate in the process of selecting the winner of the award by visiting ChevyBaseball.com, which is powered by MLB Advanced Media, to vote for one of the 30 Club nominees. Voting ends Friday, Oct. 9, and participating fans will be automatically registered for a chance to win a trip to the 2015 World Series, where the winner of the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet will be announced.

The concept of honoring players for their philanthropic work was created in 1971 as the Commissioner’s Award but was renamed the Roberto Clemente Award in 1973 in honor of the Hall of Fame right fielder and 15- time All-Star who died in a plane crash New Year’s Eve 1972 while attempting to deliver supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua.

Yankees players who have received the Clemente Award were Ron Guidry in 1984, Don Baylor in 1985 and Derek Jeter in 2009. Others who played for the Yankees but won the award while with other clubs were Phil Niekro with the Braves in 1980, Dave Winfield with the Twins in 1994, Al Leiter with the Mets in 2000 and Carlos Beltran with the Cardinals in 2013. Leiter’s broadcast partner in the YES Network booth, Ken Singleton, won the award in 1982 with the Orioles.

Among the other winners are Hall of Famers Willie Mays, Brooks Robinson, Al Kaline, Willie Stargell, Lou Brock, Rod Carew, Gary Carter, Cal Ripken Jr., Barry Larkin, Ozzie Smith, Kirby Puckett and Tony Gwynn.

Yanks still without rainout-less season

The Yankees got to their 70th home game of the season before their first rainout. Thursday night’s washout, which will be made up in a doubleheader Saturday against the Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium, ruined the possibility that the Yankees might have gone through an entire season without a rainout for the first time in club history.

A Major League Baseball-wide commemoration of Sept. 11, 2001 was scheduled for Friday night. On-field personnel, including players, coaches and umpires, will wear caps with a side patch of United States flags during games. All MLB proceeds from sales of these caps will be donated to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, the Pentagon Memorial and the Flight 93 Memorial. Special lineup cards and base jewels will be used at every game.

The Blue Jays wore customized camps recognizing both the U.S. and Canada for Friday night’s game at the Stadium on MLB Network Showcase at 7 p.m. MLB Network will also feature coverage of the day’s events MLB in its studio programming.

The Yankees’ doubleheader Saturday will be their first twin bill in exactly one year. They were swept Sept. 12, 2014 at Baltimore by scores of 2-1 and 5-0. The Yanks have been swept just twice in their past 53 doubleheaders (24 winning sweeps, 2 losing sweeps, 27 splits) since June 21, 1996. They are 17-1-13 in their past 31 doubleheaders at home since Sept. 23, 1995. The lone losing sweep was Sept. 17, 2006 against the Red Sox. The Yankees are 7-1-4 in 12 doubleheaders against Toronto, sweeping the last four, including both at the current Stadium Aug. 20, 2013 and Sept. 19, 2012. The others were Sept. 11, 1986 at Toronto’s Exhibition Stadium and Aug. 8, 1983 at the original Yankee Stadium. The Yankees are 4-0-2 against the Blue Jays in doubleheaders in the Bronx.

Fan’s fall to his death shakes up players

Yankees manager Joe Girardi was actually asked by a reporter after Saturday night’s game, a 3-1 victory over the Braves, if the game should have continued after a man in the stands at Turner Field fell from the 401 level to the 220 level not far from where some family members of Yankees players were located.

The mother of Yankees catcher Brian McCann was at the game to watch her son play at Turner Field for the first time in two years and near the area when the man fell approximately 50 feet onto the concrete.

“My mom was right in the mix,” McCann said. “All our families are up there so you’re just praying for the best. It’s so unfortunate.”

By the time the question was posed to Girardi, who was diplomatic in his response, it had become known that the man had died. His fall occurred during the top of the seventh inning at the time Alex Rodriguez was announced as a pinch hitter for Luis Severino, the Yankees’ starting pitcher.

The man was later identified as Greg “Ace’ Murrey, 60, from suburban Alpharetta, Ga., and a Braves season ticket holder. A moment of silence to his memory was observed before Sunday’s game with players from both teams lined up respectfully in front of their dugouts.

With all due respect to the deceased, why should the game have been stopped? It was a terrible tragedy, no doubt, but the man was attended to quickly by medical personnel in the ballpark and hurried off by ambulance to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

Unfortunately, people get hurt in the stands pretty much on a daily basis in Major League Baseball what with foul balls zinging into the stands throughout the game. No ballgame would ever get completed if it was stopped every time a fan got hurt.

Obviously, this was far more serious that most injuries, but no one could know for sure at the time whether Murrey would survive the fall, so why criticize the teams for continuing play?

I recall covering a game at the old Yankees Stadium in the early 1990s when suddenly a body zoomed down in front of us in the pressbox from a deck above us. Bill Pennington of the New York Times was sitting next to me and said, “Did you just see what I saw?”

We leaned over the railing and saw a man in his early 20s bouncing on the protective screen that covered the seating area behind the plate. Without that, this guy would have been a goner, just like the man in Atlanta.

Major League Baseball is looking into the possibility of placing more protective screens in ballparks to help protect fans from baseballs hit into the stands. Saturday night’s incident at Atlanta was of a different sort, however. An investigation into Murrey’s fall is ongoing.

Sun-aided hit puts shadow on Severino outing

Carlos Beltran, who played key roles in the Yankees’ victories at Toronto Friday night and Saturday, was at the center of a negative situation in the third inning Sunday. His failure to catch a fly ball to right field kept the inning alive for the Blue Jays, who went on to score three runs.

Beltran lost Troy Tulowitzki’s drive in the glaring sun at Rogers Centre with the roof open as the ball glanced off his left hip. It was originally ruled an error by official scorer Marie-Claude Pelland-Marcotte, who eventually reversed her decision and credited Tulowitzki with a double.

The scoring change had a major effect on Luis Severino’s pitching line. After the Beltran play, which occurred with two out, Severino gave up a single to Josh Donaldson that scored the game’s first run and a long home run to center field by Jose Bautista (No. 28) for two more runs. Donaldson’s hit was the only one in 22 at-bats with runners in scoring position for the Blue Jays in the series.

Had Pelland-Marcotte not reversed her ruling, all the runs against Severino’s record would have been unearned. Instead, they were earned and in my opinion deservedly so.

Such a play is an example of an age-old argument about who is responsible for a hitter reaching base in that circumstance. Talk about creating a team error for such situations has been going on since at least the 1960s, but Major League Baseball has always been reluctant to make any change. And for good reason, I say. Official scoring rules dictate that responsibility for base movement falls on an individual pitcher or fielder. That is an essential part of scoring a baseball game. A team error would be a copout for an indecisive scorer.

Fact is, it would be unfair to charge Beltran with an error when the elements made it impossible to see the ball. Such plays have been called hits regularly. The argument that Severino should not be penalized because he gave up a routine fly ball does not wash because the sun made it uncatchable. He still needs to get a third out and compounded the situation by giving up run-scoring hits to the next two batters. Those runs looked pretty earned to me. (One scoring rule that really irks me is when a pitcher is not charged with an earned run because of an error when it was he who made the error.)

Severino certainly recovered from that damaging inning and gave up only one hit and two walks with six of his nine strikeouts from the fourth through the sixth. The Yankees also got quality relief work by Chasen Shreve and Adam Warren but did not overcome what happened in the third inning.

The final was 3-1 Toronto with the Yankees’ only run coming on a solo home run in the sixth by Jacoby Ellsbury, who showed signs of coming out of a prolonged slump with a 5-for-14 (.357) series with a triple, a home run and two RBI.

So for all the strong work Severino has shown in his three starts he remains winless (0-2) despite a 3.18 ERA. On the other hand, Blue Jays starter Drew Hutchison has a 12-2 record despite a 5.06 ERA. Hutchison has benefit from the largest run support of any starter in the American League (more than seven runs per game), although he did not have a bunch of runs to work with Sunday. The righthander limited the Yankees to two hits other than the Ellsbury homer and one walk with five strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings.

Winning two of the three games in Toronto took some of the sting out of being swept at home last weekend by the Blue Jays for the Yankees, who come home back in first place in the AL Ease by a half-game over the Blue Jays. These teams will face each other seven more times in September, so nothing definitive would have been settled this weekend anyway.

Yet even in losing four of the six games to the Jays over the past two weekends the Yankees displayed effective pitching with a 2.67 ERA over 54 innings against the majors’ most productive offense, an extremely positive development.

Yanks partner with CLEAR for expedited access

The Yankees announced plans Wednesday for security enhancements and expedited-access entry points at Yankee Stadium through a partnership with CLEAR – the secure biometric identity platform sanctioned by Major League Baseball and serving 12 airports in the United States, including Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW), Las Vegas (LAS), Miami (MIA), San Francisco (SFO) and New York’s Westchester County (HPN).

Beginning Friday, ticketholders for the Yankees, NYCFC and other events held at the Stadium who are registered by CLEAR will be able to utilize Fast Access entryways, which will allow expedited entry to the building.

Fans may register for the service with a CLEAR representative at a tent located outside of the Stadium’s Gate 4 on Yankees and NYCFC game days. Registration is free. Activation of the service for those who are approved by CLEAR is immediate. Fast Access-approved entry lanes will be located at Gate 2 (Jerome Avenue and E. 164th Street) for all ticketholders and the Suite Entrance (next to Gate 4 on E. 161st Street) for suite ticketholders. Current CLEAR members will be able to use Fast Access lines immediately.

“Ensuring the safety of our guests is our top priority at every event held at Yankee Stadium,” Yankees chief operating officer and general counsel Lonn Trost said. “At the same time, we are continually looking to improve upon every aspect of the fan experience. Our partnership with CLEAR has the dual benefit of allowing us to augment our standard of security while providing better game day service to our guests.”

“CLEAR calls New York home, making us especially thrilled to partner with the New York Yankees to provide fans with a winning experience,” CLEAR chief executive officer Caryn Seidman-Becker said. “CLEAR uses innovative technology to delight our users, whether they are watching their beloved Yankees or traveling through one of our nation’s busiest airports. Everything we do has a common goal – to provide a frictionless customer experience.”

CLEAR has announced partnerships this season at two other MLB facilities – the Giants’ AT&T Park in San Francisco and the Rockies’ Coors Field in Denver.

Fans should continue to note that all bags brought into the Stadium – including by CLEAR registrants – will require screening by security personnel. Only MLB-compliant bags (soft-sided, measuring 16 inches by 16 inches by 8 inches or smaller) will be permitted inside the Stadium.

In 2012, Yankee Stadium became the first sports venue in the United States to be covered with a federal SAFETY-Act designation and certification from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.