Pittsburgh Pirates' Andrew McCutchen (22) attempts to catch a ball hit by New York Mets' Curtis Granderson for a single during the third inning of a baseball game Thursday, June 16, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Frank Franklin II
June 16, 2016

NEW YORK (AP) Ken Griffey Jr. has been appointed a youth ambassador as part of baseball's effort to grow the game throughout the United States and Canada.

The former All-Star outfielder, elected to the Hall of Fame this year, participated in a news conference Thursday at Citi Field to outline several advancements in the joint endeavor between Major League Baseball and the players' association to provide kids with better opportunities to play ball.

MLB and the MLBPA also announced monetary contributions to youth baseball projects supported by New York Mets outfielder Curtis Granderson and former All-Stars John Franco and Marquis Grissom, as well as a new partnership with Positive Coaching Alliance designed to help train coaches and administrators from the Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) program.

All the projects are supported by the jointly funded $30 million MLB-MLBPA Youth Development Foundation, which was announced at last year's All-Star Game in Cincinnati.

Commissioner Rob Manfred and union head Tony Clark joined Griffey on the dais, along with Granderson, Franco, Grissom and Pittsburgh Pirates star Andrew McCutchen.

MLB and the MLBPA combined to contribute $2.5 million to the projects discussed Thursday.

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