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3rd annual President's Cup Baseball Tournament announced

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City Council President BERNARD C. JACK YOUNG was joined today by the Baltimore Orioles, local elected leaders, public and private school officials and dozens of City high school students to announce the schedule for the 2013 President's Cup a citywide baseball tournament that brings together private and public high schools.

This year's baseball tournament will kick off on Saturday, March 23, with eight of the tournament's 16 teams vying for the chance to play in the championship game on April 13 at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

In each of the previous two years, we've seen so many incredible things, City Council President Young said. I'm not just talking about come-from-behind wins, diving catches, and clutch base-hits. I'm talking about students from different backgrounds, different neighborhoods, and different mindsets sharing in the same passions: fun, learning, competition, and baseball. I've had players, coaches, parents, and baseball fans tell me that this tournament is great for Baltimore's children and the game of baseball.

Council President Young also announced a new addition to his longstanding baseball tournament: the inclusion of young women through a pair of softball games pairing four of the city's best public and private high schools in friendly competition. The two softball games between Digital Harbor High School and Cristo Rey Jesuit High School and Paul Laurence Dunbar High School and Institute of Notre Dame will be played Saturday, April 6 at the softball field at Swann Park at 12 p.m.

Baltimore Orioles Principal Owner and Managing Partner PETER ANGELOS said that the President's Cup offers a unique showcase for city student athletes. The championship game, for the third year in a row, will be played at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

The Orioles organization is committed to growing the game of baseball and introducing a new generation of students to the benefits of healthy competition, dedication and sportsmanship, Mr. Angelos said. These young athletes from city public and private schools, who often do not get the chance to interact with each other, are building lasting relationships and bridges of understanding that help to further unite Baltimore's communities.

Major League Baseball Commissioner ALLAN H. BUD SELIG praised Council President Young's newest addition to the President's Cup.

I am very proud that the national pastime will be a platform for a most worthy purpose in the great City of Baltimore: bringing our next generation together in the name of sportsmanship and friendly competition, Commissioner Selig said. The third annual President's Cup will demonstrate Baltimore's remarkable baseball tradition to all of its competitors throughout the city. Major League Baseball applauds the City of Baltimore for once again hosting the President's Cup and continuing to provide an experience that will serve these players well on and off the diamond in the decades to come.

STEVE KEARNEY, co-founder and owner of Kearney O'Doherty (KO) Public Affairs, LLC, and this year's presenting sponsor of the President's Cup, said his firm was excited to partner with the tournament.

When we heard first heard about the Council President's baseball tournament a few years ago, we thought it was a great idea, Mr. Kearney said  We're glad to be able to support something that brings kids together across the lines that too often separate us.  The President's Cup is great for Baltimore, and we need more efforts like this.

Also new to this year's tournament is the upcoming screening for the documentary The President's Cup, which will premiere at the University of Baltimore's Wright Theater on April 2 at 6 p.m. The documentary, directed by JULIE SIMON, an associate professor in the university' School of Communications Design, explores the ways that the game of baseball can bring together boys of vastly different backgrounds and how that bit of magic happens.

I was interested in whether the premise of putting together these kids from very different backgrounds could work, on the baseball field and as a film, said Simon, a former network television producer and a longtime educator at UB. At first I was skeptical; especially knowing that high school students aren't always open to questions about what inspires them. But there's a bit of magic about baseball: Even though these players seem to have very little in common, the President's Cup tournament really brings out their mutual love of the game. In the end, they're all just kids playing ball. It was a highly satisfying experience for me as a filmmaker and an educator.

The President's Cup aims to unite Baltimore's youth by using baseball to bring together groups of high school students from different backgrounds that normally would not compete with one another. The President's Cup is an initiative under the Council President's ongoing P.L.A.Y. (Productive Lives, Active Youth) campaign. P.L.A.Y. provides Baltimore's youth with a wide range of opportunities to strengthen their self-confidence, develop leadership skills, learn from positive role models, and be rewarded athletically for their academic achievements. P.L.A.Y. encourages them to thrive academically, socially and emotionally.

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