All American Game : : Story
Aflac Game Notes
Monday, August 24, 2009
The 7th annual Aflac All American Classic was… Well… A true classic in many ways.
First of all the nationally televised game drew a record attendance of over 8,000 fans.
The reported television audience was double the previous high for any high school game.
The game once again was able to raise a lot of money for The Children’s Hospital and Coaches Curing Kid’s Cancer.
Ozzie Smith once again proved to be the ideal spokesman for the Aflac Classic.
Rawlings became one of the event’s biggest sponsors and presented a new award for fielding. The award was a replica of the Rawlings Gold Glove which is presented annually as the top award for fielding in the Major Leagues. This year’s winner was Tony Wolters.
The pitching was phenomenal, perhaps the best ever at an Aflac Game.
Not only did the game go extra innings and still end up a tie, but the smallest player on either roster ended up being the MVP. (Tony Wolters) Lot’s of hardware for Tony. He deserved all of it.
Winning the Home Run Derby was Yordy Cabrera. He hit 5 out in 10 outs at spacious Petco Park. Bryce Harper finished second with 3.
Perfect Game’s #1 ranked 2010 player, Jameson Tallion, looked very much like the nation’s #1 2010.
The practices were held at Cunningham Field on the University of San Diego Campus. Coincidently. USD has hit the Big Time when it comes to recruiting. Next year’s class has to be close to, if not, #1 when people compile top recruiting classes.
Game MVP and recipient of The Rawlings Fielding Award was Tony Wolters, he has a commitment to USD.
Finishing third in the Home Run Derby and generally considered one of the top power prospects in the class is Kris Bryant. Bryant has committed to USD.
One of the best pitching performances in the game was thrown by Dylan Covey. He topped out at 95 mph and showed one of the best breaking balls in high school baseball. Covey has committed to USD.
That’s not all, USD has recruited several others who are among the best in high school baseball.
The hardest thrower in high school baseball over the past several years is Stetson Allie. He only topped out at 97 in the Aflac Game, but we have seen him topping out at 99 several times this year. In fact, he is the first high school pitcher we have seen that threw consistently 96-98 all summer long.
Craig Biggio and Darren Sutton did the play by play on FOX. Biggio talking to Ozzie was very interesting. Two undersized players, one in the Hall Of Fame, the other soon to be a Hall of Famer.
San Diego has to be the best place on earth to hold such an event. The weather is always great, the city is beautiful, and the local staff is the best.
San Diego Hall of Champions deserves a great big applause. Al Kidd and the staff did everything possible to make this year’s banquet one of the best.
Lots of interesting stories
AJ Cole is one of the nation’s very best pitching prospects. Baseball America gave him the top pitcher award at the Awards Banquet. He pitched an inning in the game, but what many don’t know is that Andrew (AJ) had been battling a painful eye condition all week in San Diego. While not serious, this condition caused his right eye to puff up and close. Still he went through all the activities and practices, never once complaining. When asked if he could pitch he said, “There’s no way I’m not going to pitch”.
Kellen Sweeney is an outstanding middle infield prospect from Cedar Rapids, Iowa. His older brother Ryan is a starting outfielder for the Oakland A’s. Ryan is bigger, but Kellen is equally talented. Unfortunately, a week before the Aflac Classic Kellen had an MRI and is scheduled to have Tommy John Surgery about a week after the Aflac Game. Of course, this is terrible timing for someone so highly regarded by scouts. We told Sweeney we understand if he were to decide to stay home. His response was, “No way am I going to miss this. I’m going to ask the doctor’s if I can play”. The doctor told him he might be able to hit, but he would not be able to throw. So he did hit, in fact, hitting in the same group with Bryce Harper and Kris Bryant, he was the very best hitter on either team on the first day of batting practice. He drilled several balls out of Cunningham Field including one to straight away centerfield. He also looked good in the scrimmage, so we started him at DH in the game. He only had two at bats, but when asked after the game, he said he really enjoyed the whole experience. He added, I just wished I could have gotten into the game that last inning when it was all tied up.
The Perfect Game “Nick Adenhart” Award was presented for the first time at this year’s banquet. Nick pitched in the very first Aflac All American game. Besides being a great pitcher, Nick was an even better person who overcame every obstacle until he was killed in a car accident shortly after pitching 6 shutout innings for the Angels. The inscription on the trophy tells what Nick Adenhart represented.
Presented to the Player that best exemplifies the overall spirit and character of a true Aflac All-American.
The aforementioned Kellen Sweeney was one of the 5 finalists, all of them very deserving. This year it was decided we would have co-recipients. It got down to a couple of good old Georgia boys with amazing stories.
Tyler Austin is an outstanding big strong athlete from Conyers Georgia. He is a very good student and always conducts himself in a first class manner. About a month before this year’s Aflac Classic, Tyler got some bad news. He was diagnosed with testicular Cancer. Shortly before report day to San Diego, Tyler had a tumor removed. He still awaits treatment and hopes for the best, remission. Most would have stayed home worrying about their condition. Most in his position would have a hard time going to an event that is geared towards cancer charity, let alone visit sick young kids at the Children’s Hospital. But most people are not Tyler Austin. Tyler not only wanted to attend, he actually wanted to try and play. The stitches from surgery presented a problem and the pain was obvious. The doctor had said if he can stand the pain, he could try to play. We really didn’t expect Tyler to play, especially when his primary position is catcher. We hoped we could get a plate appearance for him. However, Tyler had other thoughts. He did visit the kids at the hospital. He never missed a day of the activities or practices and he did want to play, even catch, in the game. Tyler Austin did play in the game and he did win the inaugural Nick Adenhart award. After all, he did exemplify the overall spirit and character of a true Aflac All American.
Cameron Bredosian is an outstanding pitcher from Senoia Georgia. His dad Steve had a nick name “Bedrock” during his 14 year Major League career. Steve had a lifetime 3.38 ERA and won the Cy Young Award in 1987. Cam’s middle name is “Rock” and what a rock he turned out to be. Yes, he is one of the nation’s top pitching prospects, but there’s so much more to this young man. When Cam was only 2 years old, one of his three brother’s, Cody, was diagnosed with Leukemia. Things looked very bad for young Cody, the only chance for recovery was a bone marrow transplant. Cameron was the donor and young Cody’s life was saved. To this day, Cam claims he competes on behalf of all his brothers. After that early start towards stardom, it’s no surprise that Cam “Rock” Bedrosian overcomes every obstacle setting in front of him. Sure he throws mid 90s and has one of the best curveballs in all of high school baseball. But it takes more than that to represent the late Nick Adenhart. He is a great teammate and a great kid. He is always respectful of others. He was the unaminous choice of the Blue Ridge guys because his personality and thankful attitude all during the Aflac week. David Gardner (Blue Ridge Sports) said, Most all the kids were great at the Children’s Hospital, but Bedrosian was extra special and the kids loved him. Cam was the starting pitcher for the East in the game. He did give up a couple runs on an unusual play, but he also showed the kind of stuff that makes him one of the nation’s premier prospects. More importantly, all week long and for many year’s before that week, he did exemplify the overall spirit and character of a true Aflac All American.
The Aflac Cards by Topps are already being sold on ebay. It’s amazing what some of these cards are worth. I’m hanging on to my Justin Upton card.
Most of all everyone needs to thank Aflac and all their staff for everything they do. They are always so helpful and enjoyable to work with. Not to sound too much like a salesman, but I wish every one out there would consider Aflac insurance. Why not support the people who do so much to help others. We are proud to say that all our employees at Perfect Game have become Aflac customers. Great product, great people, great company, great promoters of youth, great supporters of charity. They’re the best!
More notes to come and look for PG scouting reports on all 40 Aflac All Americans