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Whitecaps Step Up to the Plate Event

The West Michigan Whitecaps announced today the Whitecaps Hall of Fame inductees for the class of 2021. The induction will take place on the most fun day of the year so far, the annual “Step Up to the Plate” fundraiser on Thursday, January 28th presented by Eastbrook Homes.

Eastbrook Homes is proud to be a sponsor for the Step Up to the Plate event, which has a mission of, “Enriching the lives of children and their families in the West Michigan Community.” We have been involved with the West Michigan Whitecaps since the very early days, when Eastbrook CEO, Mick McGraw, helped secure the land now known as the Fifth Third Ballpark. Throughout its history, the Whitecaps have prioritized youth programs and giving back, and we’d be honored if you attended this virtual event with us. 

“We’re ‘embracing the virtual world’ for the event this year. We will pack nine innings of fun into about an hour. We’ve got a great program planned that a lot more people can join because it’s virtual.” – Jenny Garone, Community Relations Manager for the Whitecaps.

Tickets and information are available here.

Even though for the first time in over two decades the event is virtual, it promises to be memorable. Open to the public for the first time ever, the ticket includes a party box containing your favorite ballpark fun, and an interactive game. Always popular is the Whitecaps Community Foundation auction. Highlights include a Jack Morris autographed jersey as well as fun get always like an eight lift ticket package to Crystal Mountain.

The annual event would not be complete without appearances by Detroit Tigers. This year the program includes Detroit Tigers Manager A.J. Hinch, Tigers General Manager Al Avila, Tigers 2019 5th-round draft pick Riley Greene, and former Tiger and Whitecaps Manager Brayan Pena.

To be inducted into the Whitecaps Hall of Fame during the virtual event will be Detroit Tiger Spencer Turnbull. Turnbull was the ace of the 2015 Whitecaps championship team, going 11-3 with a 3.01 ERA. He was called up to the Tigers in 2019 and is a key component of the current Tigers rotation. Turnbull will accept his induction during the virtual event.

The induction ceremony will also include Ruth Jacobson, former seamstress for the Whitecaps who is being honored for her many years of keeping players’ uniforms and team flags looking sharp. She also made sure Whitecaps mascot Crash the River Rascal’s uniform was in good repair. Sadly, Ruth Jacobson passed away last September.

Proceeds from the event go to the Whitecaps Community Foundation, which will donate funds from the event to the YMCA Ted Rasberry Youth League, and the Detroit Tigers Foundation, an affiliate of Ilitch Charities.

The YMCA Ted Rasberry Youth League, funded by the Whitecaps Community Foundation, Fifth Third Bank and Meijer, gives approximately 1,500 children annually the chance to participate in a fun and structured extracurricular activity. Money raised goes towards equipment and operations necessary to provide Grand Rapids youth with a safe and fun baseball and softball experience.

“It’s the perfect event for people interested in helping our local youth. The YMCA does a fantastic job of running the youth league where kids get a glove, play baseball, and have fun all summer.” – Jenny Garone, Community Relations Manager for the West Michigan Whitecaps.

The Detroit Tigers Foundation has awarded more than $26 million in Tigers tickets, grants, and scholarships to local charitable organizations with a focus on youth, education, and recreation since its establishment in 2005. From renovating baseball fields to rewarding academic achievement, the Foundation aids in the development and funding of innovative programs that promote the game of baseball.

Read the full official media release of the West Michigan Whitecaps here

Published: January 20, 2021

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