Major League Baseball, Taylor Hooton Foundation Extend Commitment

Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig and Taylor Hooton Foundation President Don Hooton jointly announced today that, over the next three years, Major League Baseball will provide $1.5 million and other forms of support to the Taylor Hooton Foundation as part of an aggressive grassroots anti-steroid educational program.

The joint mission of Major League Baseball and the Taylor Hooton Foundation is the education and training of young people, parents and coaches about the dangers of steroids and other performance-enhancing substances and about appropriate fitness and conditioning programs. Major League Baseball and the Taylor Hooton Foundation share the objective of reducing the incidence rate of steroids and other performance-enhancing drug use among American youth.

The Taylor Hooton Foundation was formed in memory of Taylor E. Hooton, a promising 17-year-old prep baseball player who took his own life on July 15, 2003 as a result of his abuse of anabolic steroids.Major League Baseball became a founding sponsor of the Taylor Hooton Foundation in August 2005, initially providing a $1 million contribution. The new agreement extends the commitment to 2011. MLB will continue to encourage all Major and Minor League Clubs to support and promote the Taylor Hooton Foundation. A web page devoted to information about the Taylor Hooton Foundation will be created in the community section of MLB.com and also will include a link to the Taylor Hooton Foundation web site. MLB will allow the use of its logo on the Taylor Hooton Foundation’s web site and its other educational and promotional materials.

The Taylor Hooton Foundation will present its Hoot’s Chalk Talk Program in the vast majority of MLB ballparks on an annual basis over the term of the agreement in conjunction with the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers (PBATs) PLAY program. The first event of the year will be on Friday, June 13th at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. Hoot’s Chalk Talk events provide kids with a combination of information about how they can improve their performance, build strength and enhance their conditioning the right way – without having to cheat, use drugs and put their lives and health at risk. In addition, they will receive Ripken Quickball skills training.

“Major League Baseball has been thoroughly impressed by the work of the Taylor Hooton Foundation since our alliance began three years ago,” Commissioner Selig said. “Don Hooton’s leadership in the fight against steroids and performance-enhancing substances has been inspiring. Major League Baseball’s collaboration with the Taylor Hooton Foundation is an important component of our extensive overall efforts to support awareness, education and research. We look forward to expanding our relationship with the Taylor Hooton Foundation.”

Added Hooton: “This season, through the support of Major League Baseball, we will hold Chalk Talks in almost every MLB ballpark. By educating kids, we are focusing on the next generation of ballplayers, whether they go on to the Big Leagues or end their playing careers in Little League. We are protecting not just the game’s future, but the future of our kids and families.”

This Foundation was founded by Don Hooton, a Texas businessman, with the goal of abolishing performance enhancing drugs through evaluation, education and elimination. Parents, coaches and kids can get more information about the dangers of steroids and other drugs, how to train the right way, and the Foundation at www.taylorhooton.org.

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