April is Autism Awareness Month, and Major League Baseball is partnering with Autism Speaks in order to raise awareness and support. Part of the proceeds from ticket sales will go toward Autism Speaks’ efforts to increase awareness, fund innovative autism research and family services, and advocate for the needs of individuals with autism and their families.

Many of the MLB Autism Awareness games will provide special opportunities and a safe, friendly environment for families and individuals affected by autism, allowing them to experience a game like never before.

Boy giving the "play ball!" command at a Red Sox game. Image from AutismSpeaks.org

Boy giving the “play ball!” command at a Red Sox game. Image courtesy of AutismSpeaks.org

Working with Autism Speaks or other autism awareness organizations, many clubs will recognize local families during pregame ceremonies. Additionally, in select ballparks, members of the autism community can enjoy the game from designated “Quiet Zones” with a sensory-friendly environment, as well as participate in various traditional baseball activities, including throwing out the first pitch, singing the national anthem, announcing “Play Ball!”, singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”, and performing “God Bless America.”

This year, Autism Speaks created a Guide to the Game, a visual story to help prepare children and adults with autism for a day at the ballpark by walking them through the full experience in detail ahead of time. The special accommodations enable many families affected by autism to attend their first MLB game.

Club recognition dates:

  • Miami Marlins — Friday, April 4
  • Oakland Athletics — Saturday, April 5
  • Pittsburgh Pirates — Sunday, April 6
  • San Diego Padres — Friday, April 11
  • Baltimore Orioles — Saturday, April 12
  • Milwaukee Brewers — Saturday, April 12
  • Cincinnati Reds — Sunday, April 13
  • Philadelphia Phillies — Monday, April 14
  • Texas Rangers — Wednesday, April 16
  • Detroit Tigers — Friday, April 18
  • Colorado Rockies — Saturday, April 19
  • Toronto Blue Jays — Thursday, April 24
  • Houston Astros — Saturday, April 26
  • Arizona Diamondbacks — Sunday, April 27
  • New York Mets — Sunday, April 27
  • Washington Nationals — Sunday, April 27
  • Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim — Monday, April 28
  • Boston Red Sox — Saturday, May 3
  • Kansas City Royals — Sunday, May 4
  • Minnesota Twins — Sunday, May 18
  • San Francisco Giants — Tuesday, May 27
  • St. Louis Cardinals — Friday, May 30
  • Chicago White Sox — Saturday, May 31
  • Chicago Cubs — Wednesday, June 4
  • Tampa Bay Rays — Saturday, June 7
  • Atlanta Braves — Sunday, June 15
  • Los Angeles Dodgers — Tuesday, June 17
  • Cleveland Indians — Wednesday, June 18
  • Seattle Mariners — Sunday, July 13
  • New York Yankees — Saturday, Aug. 9

Click here to read the full article.

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