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July 9, 2002

Joe Buck

Allan H. "Bud" Selig


JOE BUCK: Ladies and gentlemen, good morning. My name is Joe Buck from FOX Sports, and representing Major League Baseball here today. It was one of my late father's favorite lines at a banquet, when he was an emcee, he said, "It's not my job as an emcee to stand up here and bore you, but rather to introduce to you those who will." (Laughter.) That does not apply on two different fronts, because A, I am going to be the one going through the script, and B, these memorable moments for baseball are anything but boring. They are wonderful. On behalf of Commissioner Selig, Major League Baseball and MasterCard international, I would like to welcome you to the official launch of the MasterCard presents Major League Baseball Memorable Moments Program. Beginning tonight at the 73rd Major League All-Star Game, baseball fans will have the opportunity to vote to determine the most memorable moment in Major League Baseball history via the MasterCard presents Major League Baseball Memorable Moments Program. This morning we will show you the 30 moments selected for the fan ballot. These 30 moments will be unveiled to the public prior to tonight's midsummer classic. The moments selection committee which was comprised of media, celebrities and baseball historians, faced a daunting task assembling the list of 30 moments. Specifically they were asked to choose moments that reflect heroic achievements, moments that memorialized history of Major League Baseball, moments that represent more than the players involved, but rather, the connection each moment has to Major League Baseball and it's fans, moments that transcend the test of time. So here without further delay are the 30 moment memorable moments in Major League Baseball history. (Video played.). Can this be a beautiful game or what? I was up here, I don't know about you, but as I was watching those moments, you realize that if you were alive and aware, you can remember where you were when all those moments happened, and that's the beauty of this game. Major League Baseball productions, the in-house production unit for Major League Baseball produced that great video presentation and we thank them for giving us chills on this Tuesday morning. As you can see we are fortunate to have with us today many of the players involved in those 30 moments as well as representatives for those who could not be with us right now, we would like to acknowledge those who are with us today. In 1905 Christy Mathewson threw three complete-game shutouts to lead the New York Giants to victory over the Philadelphia A's in the World Series. In January 1920, Babe Ruth was sold by the Boston Red Sox, where he began his career as a pitcher, to the New York Yankees, where he went on to help build a New York baseball dynasty as the game's first great home run hitter. Representing Babe Ruth is his daughter, Julia Ruth Stevens. On July 10, 1934, Carl Hubbell of the New York Giants struck out future Hall of Famers Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Al Simmons, Jimmie Foxx and Joe Cronin in succession during the first and second innings of the All-Star Game at New York's Polo Grounds. Representing Carl Hubbell is his son Carl Hubbell, Junior. In 1938, Johnny Vander Meer of the Cincinnati Reds pitched the only back-to-back no-hitters in Major League Baseball history. Representing Johnny Vander Meer is his grandson, Troy Coverdale. On July 4, 1939, Lou Gehrig retired from the New York Yankees due to illness at the age of 37. His farewell speech at Yankee Stadium remains one of the most poignant moments in Major League Baseball history. Representing Lou Gehrig is George Pollack. During the 1941 season, the Yankees' Joe DiMaggio hit safely in 56 straight games to establish a Major League Baseball record that stands to this day. Also in 1941, Ted Williams of the Boston Red Sox finished the season with a .406 batting average. He is the last player to end a season batting above .400. Everyone in baseball was certainly saddened by the news last Friday of Ted's death. He was truly one of the greatest players and heroes baseball has ever known. Major League Baseball will honor the life of Ted Williams in a special presentation tonight. In 1947, Jackie Robinson joined the Brooklyn Dodgers, becoming the first African American player in Major League Baseball. Representing him is his widow, Rachel Robinson. On October 3, 1951 his "Shot Heard 'Round the World" against the Brooklyn Dodgers clinched the National League pennant for the New York Giants. It was Mr. Bobby Thomson and his partner in history Ralph Branca. In Game 1 of the 1954 World Series he made one of the most dramatic field plays in baseball history. His stunning catch preserved a 2-2 tie as the Giants went on to win that game and the series over Cleveland. Welcome, Mr. Willie Mays. In Game 5 of the 1956 World Series, he pitched the only perfect game in World Series history. With us today is Mr. Don Larsen. In Game 7 of the 1960 World Series, he led off the bottom of the ninth inning with a home run breaking a 9-9 tie and giving the Pittsburgh Pirates the World Series championship over the New York Yankees. With us here is Mr. Bill Mazeroski. In 1961, Roger Maris of the New York Yankees hit his 61st home run to break Babe Ruth's single-season home run record. Maris' 61st home run came on October 1, the final day of the regular season. Representing Roger Maris is his son, Kevin Maris. In 1971, Satchel Paige became the first player to be enshrined in the National Baseball Hall of Fame as a negro leaguer. Representing Satchel Paige is his son Robert Paige. In 1972 Roberto Clemente of the Pittsburgh Pirates doubled in his final at-bat of the season to reach the coveted 3,000 hit plateau. It would be his last career at-bat as the superstar outfielder and great humanitarian was killed in a plane crash on New Year's Eve 1972 while traveling to aid earthquake victims in Nicaragua. Representing him is his son, Luis. On April 8, 1974 Hank Aaron hit his 715th career home run to break Babe Ruth's all time record. Hank cannot be with us this morning, as he is in Washington D.C. receiving the Medal of Freedom from President Bush. He will be joining us for tonight's pregame ceremony in Miller Park. In Game 6 of the 1975 World Series he led off the bottom of the 12th inning with a home run to give the Red Sox a 7-6 victory over the Reds to force a decisive seventh game; I am talking about Carlton Fisk. In Game 6 of the 1977 World Series, Reggie Jackson made history by homering in three consecutive at-bats to give the Yankees a series-clinching 8-4 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers. Reggie could not attend this morning's press conference, but he will participate in tonight's pregame ceremony. In 1985 Pete Rose of the Cincinnati Reds notched career hit 4,192 to surpass Ty Cobb as Major League Baseball's all-time hits leader. In 1986 the New York Mets came back from a 3-2 deficit to win Games 6 and 7 of the World Series against Boston to be crowned the World Champions. Representing the 1986 Mets is Mookie Wilson. In 1988 with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series, his improbable pinch-hit home run gave the Los Angeles Dodgers a dramatic 5-4 win over Oakland; Kirk Gibson. On May 1, 1991 he stole the 939th base of his career, eclipsing Lou Brock's record; Mr. Rickey Henderson. On that very same day in Texas, Nolan Ryan pitched his seventh career no-hitter, extending his second Major League record. He cannot be with us here today. One of greatest pitching performances in World Series history pitched ten shutout innings against Atlanta to lead the Twins to victory in the 1988 Fall Classic, Mr. Jack Morris. His three-run home run in the bottom of the ninth inning in Game 6 gave the Toronto Blue Jays their second straight World Series title in 1993. Mr. Joe Carter. On September 6, 1995, he played in his 2,131st consecutive game breaking Lou Gehrig's record, Mr. Cal Ripken, Jr. In the summer of 1998 the Cubs and Sammy Sosa, the Cardinals and Mark McGwire captured the word's attention with their race to break Roger Maris's single-season home run record. On October 5, 2001, he hit his 71st home run of the season to eclipse the single-season home run record established by Mark McGwire and finished the season with 73; Mr. Barry Bonds. After two game-winning home runs by the New York Yankees in Games 4 and 5, his RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning in Game 7 gave the Arizona Diamondbacks their first World Series Championship in franchise history, Mr. Luis Gonzales. In 2001 he became the first Japanese-born position player in Major League Baseball. His spectacular season for the Seattle Mariners earned him the 2001 American League MVP, as well as the AL Rookie of the Year Award. That's Mr. Ichiro Suzuki, but I'm just saying Ichiro. Please give these players and their family representatives a warm round of applause. (Applause). The MasterCard presents Major League Memorable Moments Program will be available to a worldwide viewing audience in an on-field ceremony prior to tonight's All-Star Game. That ceremony will be televised in the United States on FOX Sports and to viewers worldwide by Major League Baseball International. Right now I would like to bring to the microphone, the Commissioner of Major League Baseball, Mr. Bud Selig.

COMMISSIONER SELIG: Good morning. Throughout it's history, Major League Baseball has provided it's fans with countless memorable moments. I suspect that for many of you, just looking at the players assembled here, brought back memories of the events that they are here to commemorate. I know that it did for me. People remember where they were and how they felt the night Cal Ripken, Jr. broke Lou Gehrig's consecutive game-playing streak. The night Kirk Gibson hit his stunning pinch-hit home run in the 1988 World Series; and the night Carlton Fisk gave Red Sox fans reason to hope for one more night in the 1975 World Series. That is what makes the game of baseball so magical, so alluring, so memorable. And that is exactly why the MasterCard Major League Baseball Memorable Moments Program is guaranteed to resonate with baseball fans around the world. This is a program that will give the fans a chance to be heard, to determine which of all those moments is truly the most memorable. I'm very excited about this program, and grateful to my staff at Major League Baseball, who have worked so hard to bring this program to the fans. I'd also like to thank MasterCard for working as a true partner with Major League Baseball on this program. MasterCard is one of our most active and dedicated sponsors, and I am thrilled to have Major League Baseball and MasterCard linked together in a program like memorable moments. To all of you sitting here, you've brought us a lot of joy and a lot of happiness, and we're grateful and proud to have you here. Congratulations. (Applause).

JOE BUCK: Thank you, Commissioner. "If you build it, they will come. If you build it they will come." I'd like to introduce tonight's on-field master of ceremonies Major League Baseball brought him here and I'm pleased to introduce him, Mr. Ray Liotta.

RAY LIOTTA: Thank you. I read the script, and now, like Shakespeare said: :Suit the action to the word and the word to the action." I knew what I was saying but to actually see what everybody has done has really made me doubly honored and doubly proud, and I know it's going to be a magical evening, thank you Major League Baseball, and congratulations. (Applause).

JOE BUCK: Throughout the balloting period which ends October 7, fans will be able to vote at all 30 Major League Baseball Parks, online at MLB.COM, in special balloting inserts in Rolling Stone and Sports Illustrated, and at a variety of retail locations. To accommodate Major League Baseball's increasingly diverse and global fan base, MLB.COM will produce the online ballot in English, Japanese and Spanish, and in-stadium ballots will be printed in English, French and Spanish. MLB.COM will provide also video and/or radio clips of all 30 moments that fans can view before casting their votes. At the conclusion of fan balloting, the Top 19 Memorable Moments will be unveiled during a ceremony prior to Game 4 of the 2002 World Series. Now I'd like to introduce John Stuart, senior vice president, global sponsorships and event marketing for MasterCard international to discuss MasterCard's promotional efforts for the program.

JOHN STUART: Thank you, Joe, and good morning, ladies and gentlemen. On behalf of everyone at MasterCard, I would like to thank Commissioner Selig and the entire staff at Major League Baseball. They have truly worked over time to create something very special here today. As an official sponsor and the official card of Major League Baseball, MasterCard is absolutely thrilled to be part of this monumental event. When we first signed on as a sponsor in 1997, we could not have imagined the fantastic opportunities we would have to bring the passion of the game of baseball to the fans, beginning with the All-Century Team in 1999 and right on through until today. Last year, if you'd asked us if we could have developed a program which would challenge the All-Century Team, we would have said, it's a very impossible feat, not only in size and scope, but in its ability to elicit the passion from the casual fan. Today I stand here in the presence of many of the great players who made these incredible moments a reality, I feel overwhelmed by a sense of awe and pride that we could be a part of this grand occasion. As a sponsor, one of the things we consistently try to do is create programs that engage and give back to the fans. With Memorable Moments, we feel that we have accomplished that. The fans will be able to vote for their own favorite moment, and as you've already heard, we'll unveil the No. 1 moment during Game 4 of the World Series. In addition to the balloting program, each time a fan uses their MasterCard between now and September 20, they will be automatically enrolled in a sweepstakes to win their own favorable memorable moment, if you will, one lucky will win a trip for 10 to the World Series; and he'll be a part of it, right on the field with the unveiling ceremony and Memorable Moments players. That, friends, is an experience that I think will be truly priceless. To let consumers know about our Memorable Moments Program and our sponsorship we have asked our advertising agency to create a TV spot that not only communicates our involvement, but as one of our executives said, "raises goose bumps." This TV spot will break during the game this evening, and I'll let you judge for yourself whether or not we've hit a home run. (Commercial played. )

JOHN STUART: Well, as I've said, "goose bumps." Again, thank you, Commissioner Selig, Major League Baseball and all of those here today who helped make this memorable moment. Thank you. (Applause).

JOE BUCK: Thank you very much. Right now, I'd like to bring to the podium Tim Brosnan, executive vice president business Major League Baseball to discuss Major League Baseball's marketing efforts for the program.

TIM BROSNAN: Thank you, Mr. Commissioner, John, all of the great legends and their families that are here, thank you for coming. And particularly thanks to Joe Buck, who has got a whole bunch of other business to do today and has been kind enough to bring his great pipes and presence here to emcee this. Thanks very much, Joe, for coming. Good morning. When we were developing the Memorable Moments Program, our primary goal in baseball was to create a program that would engage our fans and ignite their passion that they possess for our game. We are confident that with this program, we've achieved that initiative. From a business perspective our challenge was to develop a program, a platform, if you will, that Major League Baseball and MasterCard could both use against all of their business units. I'm pleased to say that the MasterCard presents Major League Baseball Memorable Moments Program is the most comprehensive marketing program that baseball has ever undertaken with one of its corporate sponsors. Thanks to a wide-reaching balloting program that will take place in-stadium, on MLB.COM and in countless retail locations around the world, the Memorable Moments Program has the potential to reach every baseball fan, male or female, regardless of where they live around the globe. But Memorable Moments is not just a balloting program. Major League Baseball has been working with its broadcast partners on some special projects that are going to extend the reach and depth of the Memorable Moments Program. For instance, tonight, FOX Sports will give fans throughout the United States their first glimpse of the Memorable Moments Program by dedicating its pregame show to a spectacular unveiling on field of the 30 Memorable Moments. In addition, FOX Sports will be the destination for fans to find out which moments were voted the most memorable when they unveiled the Top 10 moments in the pregame show prior to Game 4 of the 2002 World Series. During the balloting period, fans will also be able to live up close and personal the 30 moments on the ballot thanks to a project called MasterCard presents Major League Baseball "Inside the Moments," which is a partnership between Major League Baseball and ESPN Original Entertainment. "Inside the Moments" is a five-part program produced by Major League Baseball productions that will chronicle each of the 30 moment moments. Each episode will utilize original footage of the events, along with exclusive and previously untold stories by people who are intimately associated with those moments. The first episode of that series will air on ESPN and it is entitled, the "aura of the home run" and that will air on July 26 at 9:00 PM. We are extremely grateful to both Fox and ESPN for their dedication and support for this project, and I believe Ed Garner, (ph) the president of FOX Sports is here today, and I want to thank him personally for his support for the program. (Applause). John Stuart told you about latest "Priceless" advertisement that is going to back the Memorable Moments platform. This program is so big and so special that we, too, at Major League Baseball produced our own Memorable Moments advertisement for television, radio and print. The television commercial which will air in all of Major League Baseball's national broadcast will also air in many of our local broadcasts as well. I'd like to show it to you now. (Commercial played. )

TIM BROSNAN: Like the ballot, our intent is to reach as many fans as possible, so these television, print and radio spots will be produced in English, Spanish and French. Now, Major League Baseball could not have launched a program like this without the support and the dedication, the hard work and the passion of all of the people at MasterCard International, who have teamed with us on this project. For that, we extend a heartfelt "thank you" to our partners at MasterCard. Everyone in Major League Baseball is extremely proud to be associated with MasterCard and we look forward now to creating the greatest sports marketing program ever initiated by Major League Baseball. Thank you very much. (Applause).

JOE BUCK: Thank you, Tim. I'd like to thank all of the participants in today's press conference: Commissioner Selig, John Stuart, Tim Brosnan, Ray Liotta, especially the players and their family representatives that are here to represent the 30 Memorable Moments. The on-field unveiling of the Memorable Moments Program will take place tonight at 7:00 Central time. The pregame ceremony and the 73 All-Star Game will be televised live in the United States by FOX Sports; and MLB.COM will provide extensive online coverage; and MLB radio will provide exclusive play-by-play coverage of the game on Internet. Folks, thank you very much for coming on behalf of MasterCard international, Major League Baseball and FOX Sports. So long. (Applause)

End of FastScripts�.

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