Hundreds of members of Arizona UNITY youth councils and other Arizona Native youth were able to watch an exciting baseball game between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Florida Marlins thanks to a free ticket giveaway last weekend. The Arizona Diamondbacks gave the national UNITY office 800 tickets to hand out to Native youth for its annual Native American Heritage Night.Some of the Native youth participated in Pre-game activities including a cultural performance on the ball field, Tribal royalty recognition, and a meet and greet with professional athletes. Many sported their new Arizona Diamondbacks tribal design baseball cap given to first 20,000 fans who showed up at the game.
The Arizona Diamondbacks hosts the annual Intertribal Youth Baseball and Softball Tournaments attracting teams from as far away as Oklahoma. Youth leaders including UNITY’s own 25 Under 25 Native youth leader, Maria Barrlett, Pascua Yaqui, were recognized on the Jumbotron. Bartlett received the College Student of the year award from the Phoenix Indian Center.
“We are thankful to the Arizona Diamondbacks for their commitment to give back to Arizona’s Native American communities and especially to its youth. For many young people, this was their first time inside Chase Field watching a professional baseball game. Some met athletes they only see on TV. I saw lots of happy faces and that makes our hearts feel good,” said Mary Kim Titla, UNITY’s Executive Director.