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McFarlane Toys Sponsors Big League Challenge
Will Release Line of 12 Home Run Heroes from Upcoming Event

Big League Challenge
Todd McFarlane is well-known as the owner of Mark McGwire's 70th home run baseball from the historic 1998 season. Now, as a sponsor of the Major League Baseball Players Association's first-ever "Big League Challenge," McFarlane Toys will create action figures of McGwire and 11 of professional baseball's best home run hitters who are participating in the event, which is also sponsored by ESPN.

    Other figures besides McGwire include Sammy Sosa, Alex Rodriguez, Barry Bonds, Jose Canseco, Nomar Garciaparra, Shawn Green, Chipper Jones, Rafael Palmeiro, Mike Piazza, Manny Ramirez and Greg Vaughn, the 12 men participating in what is being called a "home run derby revisited, with all the wonders of modern technology."

    The figures are scheduled for release in late 2000.

    "Having the opportunity to help sponsor the 'Big League Challenge' and to be part of an event with many of the best home run hitters in baseball is something any true fan with the right resources would jump at," McFarlane said. "Add to that the fact that I can improve the quality of baseball action figures to the level that the fans and players themselves deserve."

    The 12 players, who have accounted for 3,591 career home runs, will compete at Cashman Stadium in Las Vegas, Feb. 12-13. The event will be taped then broadcast by ESPN as a series of 11 one-on-one competitions tentatively scheduled to air beginning on March 20.

    The Major League Baseball Players Association is the collective bargaining representative for all professional baseball players of the National League and the American League and serves as the exclusive group licensing agent for commercial and licensing activities involving active Major League Baseball Players. On behalf of its members, it operates the Players Choice licensing program and Players Choice Awards events, which benefit children through the Major League Baseball Players Trust for Children, a charitable foundation established and run entirely by Major League Baseball Players.

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