(OMAHA, Neb. June 12, 2010) -- Six members of the U.S. Military All-Stars baseball team will present a special “Passing the Flag” ceremony at the NCAA® College World Series® on June 25 preceding the 3:30 p.m. game, according to Lt. Commander Crash Allvord, USN (Ret.). The patriotic ceremony will honor U.S. Army Specialist Troy Yocum, an Iraq War veteran, who is walking 7,000 miles over 15-months across America to raise money for veterans.
Representing all branches of the U.S. armed forces, players on the 25-member All-Stars wear unique camouflage uniforms with historical references instead of their own names. The team plays a full schedule of games on its “Red, White and Blue Tour” presented by Ashford University, competing against the Summer Wood Bat Collegiate, Minor League and Independent Professional teams. “Most of the U.S. Military All Stars were involved in high school or college baseball and a few have participated in the minor leagues,” acknowledged U.S. Marine Corps veteran and pitching coach Carroll Land, Ph.D. “Since 1990, over 25,000 of Armed Forces personnel have played on the team while paying their own expenses to deliver exciting patriotic entertainment.”
Participating in the June 25 ceremony at Rosenblatt Stadium to honor Yocum are:
- Lt. Commander Allvard, founder and general manager of the U.S. Military All-Stars, a combat veteran with seven tours in the Middle East and more than 5,000 flight hours spanning 23 years in the U.S. Navy as a crew chief, rescue swimmer and naval aviator.
- Dr. Land enters his 18th season with the “Red, White and Blue Tour” in various capacities, including manager and pitching coach. In addition to service with the U.S. Military All-Stars, Land is a former Marine who has served more than 50 years as a player, coach, professor and Director of Athletics for Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, California.
- Staff Sergeant Justin Brown, USMC, strength and conditioning coach, served 11 years in the Marine Corps during which time he was wounded by a roadside bomb in Fallujah, Iraq, suffering traumatic brain, upper spine and shrapnel wounds. While rehabilitating, he earned his degree in Kinesiology at the University of Southern California
- First baseman Captain Chris Langley, USAF, recently returned from Haiti following the devastation caused by the earthquake.
- First baseman Specialist Karl Seiter, U.S. Army, served two combat deployments as a highly decorated Airborne Ranger. He currently serves as Officer-in-Charge responsible for presenting the American flag during pre-game ceremonies.
- Catcher Justin Marchese, U.S. Army, nearly lost his life on the Kuwait-Iraq border when a bullet from an AK-17 cracked his body armor. He also received a serious head injury from a roadside bomb explosion.
Yocum’s 7,000-mile journey across the U.S. is taking him to several Major League ballparks, in addition to Rosenblatt Stadium. His walk to raise money for veterans began when he received an e-mail from a friend he had served with who had lost his job and was forced to sell his house and eventually file bankruptcy. Details of Yocum’s “The Hike for Our Heroes” can be found at http://www.drumhike.com/index.html or http://www.heroesofthediamond.com/
"The inaugural Hall of Fame Classic was the start of a new tradition in Cooperstown, for the fans, the players, the Hall of Fame and the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association," said Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson, who also serves as President of the MLBPAA and on the Board of Directors for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. "Once again in 2010, we are looking forward to another great Father's Day event in Cooperstown, where the game's legends will give fans a chance to relieve their childhood memories at Doubleday Field." About the NCAA®
The NCAA is a membership-led nonprofit association of colleges and universities committed to supporting academic and athletic opportunities for more than 400,000 student-athletes at more than 1,000 member colleges and universities. Each year, more than 54,000 student-athletes compete in NCAA Championships in Divisions I, II and III sports. Visit ncaa.org and ncaa.com for more details about the Association, its goals and members and corporate partnerships that help support programs for student-athletes. The NCAA is proud to have the following elite companies as official Corporate Champions—AT&T, Capital One and Coca-Cola – and the following elite companies as official Corporate Partners—Enterprise, The Hartford, Hershey’s, LG, Lowe’s, Planters, State Farm and UPS. About CWS, Inc. ®
College World Series of Omaha Inc. is a non-profit organization and the local organizing committee for the annual NCAA Division I Men’s College World Series. The 2010 Men’s College World Series will start on Saturday, June 19, with the first game of the Series Finals beginning on Monday, June 28. The Series Finals will conclude on Tuesday, June 29, or Wednesday, June 30.
For more information, please contact:
Lt. Commander Crash Allvord
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