BOSTON -- The Red Sox teamed up with Autism Speaks, the world's leading autism science and advocacy organization, on Saturday to celebrate Autism Awareness month. It is part of a league-wide effort to raise awareness for the disorder.
"We are so grateful for Major League Baseball's league-wide support again this year," said Liz Feld, president of Autism Speaks. "Thanks to the wonderful work of each team's staff and volunteers, last year, thousands of families from the autism community enjoyed a ballpark experience for the first time. The sensory friendly accommodations and the ability to participate in pregame activities made it possible for our families to enjoy America's favorite pastime and watch their favorite team. We know our families will be thrilled to return to the ballpark this season."
Families and individuals affected by autism were able to purchase tickets for the game at a discount, with part of the proceeds from the game's overall ticket sales [going] toward Autism Speaks' efforts to increase awareness, fund innovative autism research and family services, and advocate for the needs of individuals with autism and their families.
The Red Sox hosted those affected by autism in a quiet zone, a sensory friendly environment, in Fenway Park's Champions' Club lounge to watch the Sox play the Athletics. Families affected by autism participated in pregame ceremonies, including the ceremonial first pitch and traditional call to 'Play Ball!'
"Major League Baseball is proud to partner with Autism Speaks once again, in order to raise awareness and support its mission of treating, preventing and curing autism," said Commissioner Bud Selig. "Many of our clubs are longstanding supporters of the autism community. As we begin our new season, it is a privilege for our entire industry to stand together behind Autism Speaks and highlight their remarkable work."
Maureen Mullen is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.