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BIG LEAGUE SLUGGERS GO TO BAT FOR YOUTH IN JULY 4TH 'COCA-COLA -- HOMERS FOR AMERICA'

 BIG LEAGUE SLUGGERS GO TO BAT FOR YOUTH
 IN JULY 4TH 'COCA-COLA -- HOMERS FOR AMERICA'
 Coca-Cola and Major League Baseball Team Up in Effort
 To Build and Renovate Baseball Parks for America's Youth
 ATLANTA, June 3 /PRNewswire/ -- For the second consecutive year, Coca-Cola, baseball and home runs on the Fourth of July will mean something good for America.
 Coca-Cola USA will be joined this Independence Day by Major League Baseball for "Coca-Cola -- Homers For America."
 In 1991, it was a tribute to the American flag. This year, and for years to come, it will be a tribute to America's kids and America's pastime.
 "Coca-Cola -- Homers For America" will donate $5,000 for every home run hit in the Major Leagues and Minor Leagues on July 4 to build and renovate baseball diamonds for America's youth. The program's primary focus will be on youth league fields in America's inner cities.
 Coca-Cola has been joined by Major League Baseball this year for the "Coca-Cola -- Homers for America" program following 1991's successful effort. It is anticipated that, based on last year's results, professional baseball's sluggers could raise more than a half-million dollars with their Independence Day efforts.
 "Coca-Cola cares about baseball, young people and the Fourth of July," said M. Douglas Ivester, president, Coca-Cola USA. "This program allows us and Major League Baseball to give more of America's kids a chance to play the game."
 During the first year of this planned multi-year program, it is expected that two all-new parks will be built and more than a dozen others will be renovated. Additional funds will be designated for field maintenance, lighting, training and other programs.
 The location of the new parks and renovations will be determined by an advisory board designated by Major League Baseball.
 "Major League Baseball has the goal of bringing more urban youth to our game," said Fay Vincent, Commissioner, Major League Baseball. "To do so we need more facilities. The 'Coca-Cola -- Homers for America' program helps us address that need. We are proud to join with The Coca- Cola Company in this superb program and we are very grateful for the substantial boost this will give our inner city baseball efforts."
 Fans can keep track of the "Coca-Cola -- Homers for America" fireworks throughout the Independence Day weekend, July 3-5, on ESPN and on many individual team broadcasts on television and radio. Most major and minor league teams will provide in-stadium updates on the home run count on July 4.
 Leading up to the Fourth, a television spot will air on ESPN and other television outlets alerting baseball fans to the "Coca-Cola -- Homers For America" effort.
 Last year in "Coca-Cola -- Homers For America," sluggers hit 110 home runs to earn money for The Star-Spangled Banner Monument in Washington, D.C. If that homer count is reached in 1992, $550,000 will be designated for the building and renovation of youth league parks.
 Thirteen Major League and 89 Minor League games are scheduled this July 4. So far this year, Major League players have averaged 1.5 home runs per game, while the Minor League average stands at 1.09. Last year, the Major League average was 2.4 home runs per game and the Minor League average was .951.
 Coca-Cola classic is the official soft drink of Major League Baseball. Baseball fans can enjoy Coca-Cola USA soft drink products in 25 of 26 Major League parks and a majority of Minor League stadiums.
 -0- 6/3/92
 /EDITOR'S NOTE: Selected statistics courtesy Elias Sports Bureau and Howe Sportsdata International./
 /CONTACT: Bob Bertini of Coca-Cola USA, 404-676-5173, or Ricky Clemons of Major League Baseball, 212-339-7860/ CO: Coca-Cola USA; Major League Baseball ST: Georgia IN: SU:


BR-BN -- AT008 -- 6291 06/03/92 11:42 EDT
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Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 3, 1992
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