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Hank Aaron to headline Governor’s Baseball Dinner on Wednesday

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Governor Charlie Crist has expressed his gratitude to 21-time All-Star and 1982 Hall of Fame inductee and baseball star, Hank Aaron, for participating in this year’s Governor’s Baseball Dinner on Wednesday, February 17, 2010, in St. Petersburg. Each year, the Governor’s Baseball Dinner honors the Major League Baseball Clubs, and their Minor League affiliates, who hold spring training or play year-round in Florida.

“Hank Aaron is a baseball icon and his contributions to this year’s Baseball Dinner will surely make it memorable,” said Governor Crist. “Major League Baseball’s presence in Florida is so important to our economic vitality and during these historic economic times, it is more important than ever that we support and build on successful industries like baseball.”

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The Governor’s Baseball Dinner, restored in 2008 by Governor Crist after more than a decade, will honor Florida ’s two Major League Baseball clubs, 13 other Major League clubs who train in Florida , and the 29 Minor League clubs who play throughout the spring and summer. A recent study commissioned by the Florida Sports Foundation revealed a $752-million annual impact on Florida ’s economy from Major League spring training. The same study also reported spring training supported or created more than 9,200 part-time or full-time jobs.

In 2008, Governor Crist also incorporated a charitable element to the dinner. This year’s beneficiary is 44 Forever, created by Hank and Billye Aaron to help talented and dedicated youth achieve their goals. Aaron will be attending on the organization’s behalf. Detroit Tiger and Hall of Fame member, Al Kaline, along with the newest Hall of Fame selection, Miami native Andre Dawson, and other former greats, will also be in attendance. Major League Baseball Commissioner Allan “Bud” Selig also plans to attend. All proceeds, after expenses, will be donated to 44 Forever.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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