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Press Release  | Press Release  | 4/4/2024

MLB Players Invest in Perfect Game

Photo: Trevor Hoffman (Perfect Game)

 

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667 Progress Way | Sanford, Fla. 32771 | 319-298-2923 

www.perfectgame.org | facebook.com/perfectgameusa | @PerfectGameUSA 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

 

PERFECT GAME ANNOUNCES INVESTOR GROUP 

Current and Former MLB Players Invest in the Future of Baseball 

 

Sanford, Florida (Thursday, April 4, 2024) - Perfect Game, the world’s premier youth and high school diamond sports platform, today announced its investor group which is made up, in part, of 20 former and active major league players. The group consists of Hall of Famer Trevor Hoffman, Mo Vaughn, Salvador Perez, Alfonso Soriano, Tim Lincecum, Tom Gordon, Ryan Klesko, Charlie Manuel, Hunter Pence, Yasmani Grandal, Miguel Rojas, Denard Span, Scott Erickson, Francisco Cervelli, Brian Fuentes, Mark Guthrie, Aubrey Huff, Rougned Odor, Gregory Polanco and Reid Brignac. Perfect Game Commissioner and Chicago White Sox executive Dennis Gilbert is also part of the group. 

 

“One of the goals that my partner, Rob Ponger, and I had when we took over Perfect Game was to bring diverse major league expertise to the table,” said Perfect Game Chairman Rick Thurman. “This outstanding group consists of some of the most accomplished baseball players of the last 20 years. They didn’t just excel at hitting, pitching and defense, but also brought vital intangibles to the field every day that can’t be measured on a stat sheet – leadership and a winner’s mentality. 

 

The decision to not just invest in Perfect Game but also be invested in the future of the athletes that play in PG events speaks volumes about the dedication this group has to the future of baseball,” said Rob Ponger, CEO of Perfect Game. “Our group of investors are not satisfied to just watch Perfect Game athletes from afar but also work closely with the next generation of major league players to not just make them better on the field, but off it as well.” 

 

The investor group: 

 

  • Trevor Hoffman: A 2018 inductee into the National Baseball Hall of Fame after finishing his career with 601 saves, second-most in MLB history, and seven All-Star selections. 

  • Mo Vaughn: Three-time All-Star was voted as American League MVP in 1995 after hitting .300 with 39 home runs and a league-leading 126 RBI en route to finishing his career with 328 home runs and 1,064 RBI. 

  • Salvador Perez: One of the greatest players in the history of the Kansas City Royals as evidenced by his eight All-Star selections, five Gold Glove Awards, four Silver Slugger trophies and being named MVP of the 2015 World Series. 

  • Alfonso Soriano: One of only five players in MLB history with 40 home runs and 40 stolen bases in one season, he won four Silver Slugger Awards and was selected to seven All-Star teams, including being named MVP of the 2004 Midsummer Classic. 

  • Tim Lincecum: Won back-to-back Cy Young Awards (2008-09) and led the National League in strikeouts three straight seasons (2008-10) while being selected to four straight All-Star teams (2008-11). 

  • Tom “Flash” Gordon: Split his 21-year MLB career between starting and relieving, making three All-Star teams and leading the American League in saves (46) in 1998. 

  • Ryan Klesko: A member of the 1990’s Atlanta Braves dynasty that culminated with the 1995 World Series championship, the left-handed slugger also spent seven seasons with the San Diego Padres where he was named to the 2001 NL All-Star team.  

  • Charlie Manuel: The winningest manager in Phillies history led the franchise to five straight National League East Division titles, one NL pennant and the 2008 World Series championship. Finished his career with a combined 1,000 wins between Philadelphia and Cleveland.  

  • Dennis Gilbert: The longtime philanthropist and White Sox executive, who co-founded the prestigious Beverly Hills Sports Council, is not only an investor but also serves as Perfect Game’s Commissioner. 

  • Hunter Pence: Was a part of two World Series championships with the San Francisco Giants and was selected to four All-Star teams as part of his 14-year MLB career. 

  • Yasmani Grandal: The two-time All-Star led all MLB catchers in home runs (98) over a four-year span (2016-19) and played in 118 games for the Chicago White Sox last season. 

  • Miguel Rojas: Infielder has appeared in over 1,000 major league games over the past 10 years, spending last season with the Los Angeles Dodgers, where he started all three of LA’s playoff games. 

  • Denard Span: The National League hits leader (184) in 2014 played 11 seasons in the major leagues, finishing his career with 72 triples, which was the third-highest total among all MLB players during that time.  

  • Scott Erickson: Pitched 15 years in the major leagues, topping 200 innings seven times, including 1998 when he led the American League in innings (251.1), starts (36) and complete games (11). 

  • Francisco Cervelli: 13-year MLB veteran was a part of the 2009 World Series champion New York Yankees and among the best defensive catchers of his generation. 

  • Brian Fuentes: A four-time All-Star closer who finished his career with 204 saves, leading the American League with 48 saves in 2009. 

  • Mark Guthrie: A member of the 1991 World Series-winning Minnesota Twins who pitched in 765 games over 15 major league seasons for eight different teams.  

  • Aubrey Huff: A two-time World Series champion with the San Francisco Giants who finished his career with 242 home runs and 904 RBI and won a Silver Slugger Award in 2008. 

  • Rougned Odor: Slugged 30 or more home runs in three separate seasons and led the Texas Rangers with 228 extra-base hits over a four-year span (2016-19). 

  • Gregory Polanco: Spent his entire eight-year major league career with the Pittsburgh Pirates and led all National League right fielders with 13 assists in 2015. 

  • Reid Brignac: Played parts of nine seasons in the major leagues, including five with the Tampa Bay Rays, and is currently in his third season managing Binghamton, the double-A affiliate of the New York Mets. 

 

The Perfect Game investor group combine for 43 All-Star selections, 15 World Series championships, 10 Silver Slugger Awards, five Gold Glove Awards, two Cy Young Awards, one MVP winner, one World Series MVP and one All-Star Game MVP.  

 

With the support of these distinguished individuals, Perfect Game is well-positioned to further its mission of providing unparalleled opportunities for young athletes to showcase their skills and pursue their dreams. 

 

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Media contact: 

Greg Casterioto / Gcasterioto@perfectgame.org / (267) 246-5709 

 

 

About Perfect Game 

 

Perfect Game is the world’s largest elite youth baseball and softball platform and scouting service, producing over 9,800+ events, hundreds of thousands of games, and showcases each year across the country. Perfect Game is dedicated to giving amateur players exposure to take their game to the next level, whether that be in college or in the professional ranks. At Perfect Game events, players are performing with top-level competition in front of college recruiters and professional scouts from all over the country. Because of this, these events prove to be invaluable to college coaches as well as Major League Baseball, as they can scout a large population of talented ballplayers in one location. To date, more than 2,034 players that have played in a Perfect Game event have also played in Major League Baseball. Since 2003, 14,466 Perfect Game alumni have been selected in the MLB Draft. In the 2023 Draft, for example, 95 percent of all players selected had played in Perfect Game events, and every player selected on the Draft’s first day had previously attended Perfect Game events.