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Monday, May 27, 2013

Mario Impemba's 'MVP' program, to honor vets, starts on Memorial Day

DETROIT — The color commentator for the Detroit Tigers television broadcasts on Fox Sports Detroit, Rod Allen, has his own distinctive way of recognizing people for their deeds, giving them a hearty “I see ya” on the air. 

His broadcast partner has a more understated way of thanking people, a more substantive salute.

Mario Impemba, the TV play-by-play voice of the Tigers, on Monday kicked off his second initiative aimed at saluting veterans and active service members of the U.S. military.

“It’s important to recognize the contributions our veterans have made, including those from earlier conflicts,” Impemba said in a release. “During our visits with veterans, I have learned that so many love the Tigers and baseball. This is a great way to give them an opportunity to enjoy a game at the ballpark and let them know how much we appreciate their service.”

In addition to his five-year-old Operation Opening Day, which provides a DVD of the home opener to active members of the Armed Forces, Impemba has added Military Veteran’s Program (or MVP) to help veterans who serviced in earlier eras enjoy home games at Comerica Park.

Starting with Monday’s Memorial Day matinee, and running every Monday home game through the rest of the season, 20 tickets will be distributed to members of local veteran organizations. The package — a gift from Impemba, in conjunction with the Detroit Tigers Foundation, an affiliate of Ilitch Charities — includes a ticket, a ride to the park on the FSD Fan Express, a T-shirt and an autographed photo of Impemba.

“When I made a visit to the VA Hospital a lot of the older veterans talked about how they love to come to games, but they couldn’t afford it,” Impemba told MLB.com. “We don’t think about the older guys as much. The people that came back from Vietnam — they went through a lot and we have to take care of them too.”


2 Comments:

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