At Tickets.com we are always striving to deliver lifelong memories and experiences for patrons, and the latest T.Cares event for our US team with the Special Olympics and MLB’s Philadelphia Phillies did just that.
The Special Olympics is the world’s largest sports organization for people with intellectual disabilities, with more than 4.9 million athletes in 172 countries, and over one million volunteers. It aims to help people with intellectual disabilities discover new strengths and abilities, skills and success, through the power of sport.
Working with Special Olympics New Jersey’s Head Baseball Coach Tony Vlahovic and Volunteer Director Amy Simmons, Tickets.com teamed up with the Philadelphia Phillies to host a day that four chosen athletes wouldn’t forget.
The Special Olympics representatives were invited to the Phillies’ home game against Miami Marlins in September and were greeted with a personalized welcome on the big screens as they arrived at Citizen Bank Park.
After being presented with a Phillies welcome bag, the athletes headed down onto the field to watch batting practice, where they were met by Phillies first baseman Tommy Joseph and first base coach Mickey Morandini, who were more than thrilled to take photos with the Special Olympic athletes and sign autographs.
The athletes also presented Tommy and Mickey with gifts of their own; specially designed Special Olympics t-shirts, which both Mickey and Tommy wore throughout the rest of batting practice.
The athletes even got the chance to meet a member of the opposing team, Miami Marlins’ third baseman Derek Dietrich, before heading into the Media Room to meet local broadcaster Tom McCarthy and field questions for themselves from Phillies staff members.
In what was a closely fought game, the Phillies came out on top claiming a thrilling victory and coming from behind to win 8-9, capping off a memorable day for all involved.
For Bucky Heath, Head of Marketing at Tickets.com, it was also a day to remember: “The goal of any T.Cares project is to provide great memories for all those involved, and the athletes didn’t stop smiling the whole time! The Special Olympics has been doing outstanding work for many years, and it was a pleasure to work with Tony & Amy to provide these young athletes with a memorable experience. I also want to thank the Philadelphia Phillies, Miami Marlins and everyone at Citizen Bank Park who helped make the day so special.”
“These types of events create a once-in-a-lifetime experience and exposure for all Special Olympic athletes and the overall experience with the Phillies was amazing,” said Special Olympics New Jersey’s Head Baseball Coach, Tony Vlahovic.
“I had tears in my eyes a few times watching the four athletes’ reactions to meeting the players on the field and listening to them talk about how much fun it was to be in the ballpark.
“The passion that these athletes demonstrate for baseball is incredible, and I would like to thank Bucky and all the wonderful people at Tickets.com for their time, patience and dedication to making the event a success!”
To find out more information about the Special Olympics, visit www.specialolympics.org.
To read more about the T.Cares program and to find out how Tickets.com could get involved with your community or charity, please click here.