Representatives of Delta Dental of Missouri and the St. Louis Cardinals organization gathered Sunday outside of Busch Stadium to announce details of the second annual SmilesLEAGUE Coaches’ Choice High School Seniors All-Star baseball game. Mark Hencken was the player from Eureka High School selected to play in this All-Star game; Tyler Manne was the player selected from Lafayette High School.
The game will be held June 16, following the 1:15 p.m. St. Louis Cardinals vs. Kansas City Royals baseball game.
The all-star lineup includes 34 high school seniors from St. Louis and St. Louis County public high schools, who will be coached by Cardinals' alumni players Scott Cooper and Kerry Robinson.
Admission to the game is free, and gates will open after the conclusion of the Cardinals game, according to a release from Delta Dental of Missouri.
A Homerun Derby is set for 4 p.m., depending on the Cardinals game, followed by the first pitch. Each of the SmilesLEAGUE all-star athletes was pre-selected by their school’s coaching staff. Players were randomly combined to form the “All-Star Blue Team” and the “All-Star Green Team.”
The "All-Star Blue Team” will be coached by former Cardinals third baseman Scott Cooper, a St. Louis native who played high school baseball for the Pattonville Pirates, spent seven seasons in the major leagues and was a member of the American League All-Star team in both 1993 and 1994, according to the release.
The “All-Star Green Team” will be coached by former Cardinals outfielder Kerry Robinson, who is also a St. Louis native. Robinson was a three-sport athlete for the Hazelwood Spartans and went on to play for the Tampa Bay Rays and was a Cardinal from 2001 to 2003, appearing in the post-season in 2001 and 2002.
See PDF that accompanies this article for a complete listing of selected All-Star 2012 players.
Delta Dental representatives also announced the launch of their new oral health initiative to help create a tobacco-free generation of healthy kids. St. Louis native and Cardinals standout David Freese is serving as the spokesperson for this campaign.
Monica Green, manager of corporate communications for Delta Dental of Missouri stated in the release: “Tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of death and disease in the United States. It can cause health-related problems for teens at an early age, including periodontal disease, coughing, shortness of breath and other issues related to nicotine addiction. The fact is that we cannot end the tobacco epidemic without focusing our efforts on young people. Nearly 100 percent of adults who smoke every day started smoking when they were 26 or younger, so early prevention is key. If we can prevent adolescents from using tobacco before the age 18, the chances are high that they will not take up the habit.”
Each SmilesLEAGUE All-Star signed a tobacco-free pledge, acknowledging that they do not smoke or chew, and outlining their willingness to advocate no-smoking and no-chewing lifestyle choices among Missouri’s youth. The public service announcements, featuring David Freese, currently are airing during Cardinals game broadcasts and can be accessed by clicking here. Additional information tied to creating a tobacco-free generation of healthy kids is available on Delta Dental’s microsite.
As part of the all-star game, Delta Dental representatives also are spearheading a fundraising component to benefit the Cardinals Care, Give Kids A Smile and Delta Dental Health Theatre organizations. Raffle tickets are currently available for $2 per ticket (or three tickets for $5) by logging on to www.smilesleague.com. Tickets also will be available for purchase in Busch Stadium during Cardinals games on June 9, 10 and 15, as well as at the SmilesLEAGUE All-Star game. Prize packages include the opportunity to meet Cardinals third baseman, David Freese, along with four field-level tickets to the Cardinals home game on Saturday, Aug. 4; four tickets to the Major League Baseball All-Star Game and festivities in Kansas City on July 10 - 12; and jerseys autographed by David Freese and Cardinals starting pitcher Adam Wainwright.