SAN DIEGO, Calif. – The eighth annual Aflac All-American Baseball Classic will be played this Sunday at 5 p.m. (PDT) at PETCO Park in San Diego and will be nationally televised live on FOX Sports Net.
Thirty-eight of the nation’s top high school baseball players will participate in the game, featuring an East versus West matchup.
Andre “The Hawk” Dawson, eight-time MLB Gold Glove outfielder and four-time MLB Silver Slugger, is serving as the honorary chairman for the 2010 showcase. Dawson was inducted into the MLB Baseball Hall of Fame last month.
In addition to helping promote the Aflac All-American Baseball Classic, Dawsonis on-site in San Diego for game-week activities, including player practice sessions and the annual awards banquet. This is Dawson’s first time serving as honorary chairman. Past honorary chairmen have included Hall of Famers Ozzie Smith (2007, 2008, 2009), Reggie Jackson (2006), Cal Ripken Jr. (2004, 2005) and Stan Musial (2003).
“I feel honored to have the opportunity to serve as the 2010 honorary chairman,” said Dawson. “I look forward to interacting with these young men to pass along the knowledge I gained during my career and help them prepare for a bright and positive future, whether on or off the field.”
The Aflac All-American Baseball Classic is more than just a game. It is part of Aflac's ongoing commitment to the fight against childhood cancer, with ticket proceeds benefiting Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego. Since 2003, the Aflac All-American Baseball Classic has generated nearly $805,000 for charity.
“The Aflac All-American Classic gives baseball’s stars of tomorrow a national stage to display their immense talent,” said Danny Fleishman, vice president of sponsorships and emerging markets at Aflac. “More important, by using the game to raise awareness and funds for local pediatric cancer hospitals, Aflac is allowing these young players to use their talents for meaningful impact off the field as well.”
The Aflac All-American players are being led by a stellar coaching staff for the 2010 showcase. Larry Knight of Sumrall High School in Hattiesburg, Miss., will manage the East team. Knight is in his fourth season as head coach at Sumrall and was recently honored as USA Today’s 2010 High School Coach of the Year. This year, he led his team to a third consecutive Class 3A State Championship and finished as the No. 1 ranked team with a 35-1 record.
Managing the West squad will be Bill Hutton of Archbishop Mitty High School in San Jose, Calif. Hutton is in his 28th season as head coach at Archibishop Mitty, where his team has secured four West Catholic Athletic League Championship titles and four Central Coast Section Championship titles. His team finished the past season ranked No. 1 in California with a 31-3 record.
Aflac All-American Baseball Classic alumni have had a significant presence in Major League Baseball’s first-year player drafts. Since the game’s inception in 2003, 80 alumni have been selected in the first round, including No. 1 overall selections in Justin Upton (2005, Arizona), Tim Beckham (2008, Tampa) and this year’s overall top pick Bryce Harper (2010, Washington). Fifteen Aflac All-Americans were taken in the first round of the 2010 draft, including the No. 1 and No. 2 overall picks, Harper by the Nationals and Jameson Taillon by Pittsburgh, respectively. San Diego also drafted 2009 Aflac All-Americans Karsten Whitson and A.J. Vanegas.
The Aflac All-American Baseball Classic is considered the nation’s marquee prep event. Participants must have just completed their junior year of high school, be in good academic standing and display qualities off the field that embody baseball’s ideals, including discipline, determination and hard work.
The full team roster is at the bottom of this story. For more information about the Aflac All-American Baseball Classic, visit aflacallamerican.com.
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