DENVER, July 29, 2003 ? Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q) is proud to announce its sponsorship of the 28th annual Beep Baseball World Series ? a competition in which 14 teams of visually impaired athletes will meet in Denver to vie for the championship title. The games begin July 30 and the championship game will be played August 2.
For more than 20 years, visually impaired athletes have taken part in America?s favorite pastime by playing the game with a specialized ball that beeps loudly to alert players of its location. The ball ? invented in 1964 by Mountain Bell Telephone employee Charley Fairbanks ? is much like any other softball except inside are electronic circuit boards, batteries and a speaker from a telephone handset.
Since Fairbanks? invention, beep baseball has expanded rapidly and in 1975 The National Beep Baseball Association (NBBA) was created. Today volunteers from TelecomPioneers hand-make each beep baseball and in 2003 more than 4,000 hours of volunteer time has gone to the balls? creation.
?Beep baseball helps visually impaired people realize they can play sports and we hope the Beep Baseball World Series will demonstrate their options,? said Roy Trujillo, board member, National Beep Baseball Association. ?Some players have lost their sight but remember watching and playing baseball. With the generous contributions by Qwest, the TelecomPioneers and our other sponsors, we can offer them the chance to play again, giving players a sense of pride and accomplishment.?
?We?re thrilled to help sponsor the Beep Baseball World Series because we feel a sense of pride that the balls are handmade by Qwest employees and retirees and that many of the World Series volunteers are Qwest employees too,? said Joni Baird, vice president of Qwest corporate responsibility and the Qwest Foundation. ?Our hope is that more visually impaired athletes will learn of the National Beep Baseball Association and start playing the game.?
The Colorado Rockies are also a major contributor and sponsor of the games and the NBBA organization.
"The Colorado Rockies Baseball Club has long supported beep baseball through financial contributions. We are very proud of all the talented athletes, and it is our great pleasure to be a part of 2003 Beep Baseball World Series," said Jim Kellogg, Rockies senior director of community and retail operations.
Teams competing in the 2003 Beep Baseball World Series are:
- Austin Blackhawks (Austin, Texas)
- Bayou City Heat (Houston)
- Boston Renegades (Boston)
- Chicago Bluff (Chicago)
- Chicago Comet (Chicago)
- Cleveland Scrappers (Cleveland)
- Columbus Vipers (Columbus, Ohio)
- Florida Sand Spurs (Dayton, Fla.)
- Indy Thunder (Indianapolis)
- Kansas All Star (Topeka, Kan.)
- Oklahoma City Bombers (Oklahoma City)
- Rocky Mountain Eagles (Denver)
- Tyler Tigers (Tyler, Texas)
- West Coast Dawgs (Sacramento, Calif.)
The Beep Baseball World Series begins on Wednesday July 30, 2003, at the Aurora Sports Complex. Teams will play in a round-robin format with games starting at 8:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday. Winning teams will advance to the championship brackets and on Friday games begin at 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. The Beep Baseball World Series championship game will take place on Saturday August 2, 2003, at 12:00 p.m.
TelecomPioneers is the largest industry-related volunteer organization in the world, with chapters located throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico. Founded in 1911, TelecomPioneers, formerly known as the Telephone Pioneers of America is comprised of nearly 750,000 current and retired telecommunications employees who have joined together to make their communities better places in which to live and work.
Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q) is a leading provider of voice, video and data services to more than 25 million customers. The company?s 50,000 employees are committed to the ?Spirit of Service? and providing world-class services that exceed customers? expectations for quality, value and reliability. For more information, please visit the Qwest Web site at www.qwest.com.
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