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05/04/2006 1:26 PM ET
Major League Baseball and World Champion Chicago White Sox featured in launch of "America's Best Diverse Suppliers" Program creates a new program to recognize leading diverse suppliers
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Major League Baseball is partnering with to celebrate the League's top diverse suppliers through a new recognition program, America's Best Diverse Suppliers (ABDS) Program. The ABDS Program provides a platform for private and public sector organizations like MLB to recognize and promote best diverse suppliers and currently features the ten best diverse suppliers for the Chicago White Sox, 2005 World Series Champions. is an independent Internet magazine that celebrates the advancement of diverse people, especially minorities and women.

The debut of the ABDS Program took place in April. In June, MLB and the ABDS Program will unveil the ten best diverse suppliers among all Clubs. MLB will continue to work through the ABDS Program to recognize the best diverse suppliers of each of the 30 Major League Clubs as well as those that work with the Office of the Commissioner on year-round activities and Jewel Events such as the All-Star Game and post-season activities.

"We had an incredible season last year and our diverse suppliers made important contributions to our championship drive," said Michael Spidale, director of purchasing for the Chicago White Sox. "We, along with Major League Baseball, welcome this opportunity to team up with to give broader recognition to our diverse suppliers," he continued. "Whether the work involves ballpark maintenance or operations, printing services, or security, the White Sox rely on many diverse businesses to help us run our operations and field our championship team."

The White Sox business activities with minority and women-owned businesses are part of a larger initiative established by Commissioner of Baseball Allan H. (Bud) Selig. In 1998, under the leadership of Commissioner Selig, MLB established the Diverse Business Partners (DBP) Program to provide a structure and process through which minorities and women could gain access to the sport's procurement centers. The DBP program has been nationally recognized as the premier supplier diversity program in sports and, since its inception, has spent more than $300 million with and has created opportunities for minority- and women-owned businesses. White Sox Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf has been a leader in the development and growth of the DBP since its inception.

"Major League Baseball is very excited to have the opportunity to highlight the efforts of our Clubs and their work with top diverse suppliers," said Wendy Lewis, Vice President for Strategic Planning for Recruitment and Diversity for Major League Baseball. "The America's Best Diverse Suppliers Program is a way for us to celebrate our World Champions for their efforts off the field, and is also affording us the chance to raise awareness about our Diverse Business Partners Program.", creator of the ABDS Program, provides a forum to promote initiatives that develop, utilize, and expand the resources of diverse and emerging communities.

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