First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden will be in the stands at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday night for Game One of the World Series between the New York Yankees and the Philadelphia Phillies.
But first the two women will pay a visit to patients at the James J. Peters VA Medical Center in the Bronx to play a part in Major League Baseball’s focus on community service.
MLB has dedicated the first four games of the World Service to promoting community service, similar to this summer’s All-Star game.
Tomorrow night’s game in New York will be focused on welcomebackveterans.org, an organization that has awarded $5.8 million in grants to non-profit agencies across the country targeting veterans’ greatest needs, including mental health and job training/placement.
“We are looking forward to welcoming the First Lady and Dr. Biden to Yankee Stadium and Game One of the 2009 World Series,” said Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig in a statement. “We hope their presence at both the game and the hospital visit will be an inspiration to the veterans, who proudly served our country.”
Both Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden have made outreach to military families and veterans a signature issue in their policy portfolio and have spoken recently about the need to provide quality care to the nation's veterans.
Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden will be joined at the VA Medical Center on Wednesday afternoon by Bob DuPuy, president and COO of Major League Baseball, and representatives from the Yankees organization.
Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden also will take part in the pre-game ceremonies honoring veterans at Yankee Stadium.
They will escort Yankee legend and World War II veteran Yogi Berra and Iraq veteran Tony Odierno out to the mound, where Odierno will throw the ceremonial first pitch.
Odierno is a West Point graduate who lost his arm while serving in Iraq. He was awarded a Bronze Star with Valor and a Purple Heart and now works for the Yankees in Stadium Operations. Tony is the son of General Raymond T. Odierno, the current Commanding General of the Multi-National Force in Iraq.
Both Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden will stick around for Game One, which features Dr. Biden’s beloved Phillies.
She was at the game in Philadelphia last October when the Phillies clinched the World Series over the Tampa Bay Rays and her husband ,Vice President Joe Biden, has called her “the most rabid” Phillies fan.
-Karen Travers and Yunji de Nies