Ga. – A trio of San Diego ballplayers have been named to the
Perfect Game All-American Classic presented by Rawlings, to be played Sunday, August 11 at Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres and televised live on MLB Network. However, the experience has
brought them an opportunity that goes much deeper than just playing a baseball game.
Jackson, Sean Bouchard, and Brady Aiken have been given the
opportunity to make an impact on something much greater than any game
or individual. They are raising money to help the Peckham Center for
Cancer and Blood Disorders at Rady Children’s Hospital as this
year’s Miracle Makers of the Perfect Game All-American Baseball
Peckham Center, just down the street from Petco Park, has been
recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the
nation’s best cancer programs in its “Best Children’s
Hospitals” edition for three straight years.
player has set a fundraising goal of $5,000 to help the kids and
families battling serious disorders and deadly cancers. They have
found the experience to be life changing.
participating in a press conference to announce being named PG
All-Americans, Jackson, Bouchard, and Aiken took a tour through Rady
Children’s Hospital to give them a clearer picture of how impacting
their fundraising efforts will be.
really opened our eyes and made us appreciate what we have and it was
a really humbling experience,” said Bouchard, currently
participating in the 17u WWBA National Championship along with
Jackson for the San Diego Show. “That really helped us with the
press conference, knowing that where we are is a really blessed
situation and that we’re gonna try and make the most of it.”
three San Diego baseball stars got a glimpse of what the patients go
through on a daily basis when they walked through the 475-bed
pediatric-care facility. Jackson recalled seeing all the faces of the
children; all happy and carefree, despite their unfortunate
definitely gets in your heart and shows you that although there’s
things holding you back from what you could potentially do in the
future, they’re still having a great time and enjoying their life
as they can,” Jackson said, who also participated for the San Diego
Show at last week's 18u WWBA National Championship.
just realize there’s kids in there that have to be moved around in
a wheelchair, but their having a blast: laughing, smiling. You can’t
ask for anything more,” said Jackson. “It’s an amazing
the opportunity to make a powerful impact on the lives of kids who
are suffering from a variety of disorders and cancers is a strong
motivation for the trio, who’s fundraising efforts will be greatly
appreciated by the families of the patients.
a nonprofit center, so all the money that goes into it is either by
donations or by people funding it,” explained Bouchard. “That’s
what we’re trying to do, raise awareness and raise money for people
who need it the most.”
more could you want but to help people out who don’t have as
fortunate of lives as us,” added Jackson.
three San Diego-based PG All-Americans have turned their fundraising
efforts into a friendly competition and are having a lot of fun with
it. To this point, Brady Aiken, who did not travel to Georgia with
the San Diego Show for the 17u WWBA National Championship, is leading
the competition with nearly $1,500 raised.
competing to help out the kids who don’t have as bright of futures
and as lucky circumstances as we do, so it’s definitely a great
thing to be a part of,” Jackson said.
of us have really raised money on our own before and that’s part of
the fun -- just getting to meet new people through charity and
fundraising,” said Bouchard.
have been talks of a prize for whoever raises the most money, but
that doesn’t matter to these guys, who use the kids at Rady
Children’s Hospital as the only motivation they need.
prize is getting to see these kids, these families, get to do what
they need to do to help these kids in need and just being able to see
them succeed and beat whatever disorder or cancer they have,”
ballplayers have been building connections and socializing on a wide
scale in order to raise as much money as they can, using social media
as a source, along with word-of-mouth.
just getting the word out there for all of our friends (and) all of
our friends’ families to see,” said Bouchard. “I know some of
us have connections to people who have a lot of money, people who do
give a lot to charity work and fundraising, so we’re just getting
the word out (and) having fun with this.”
the three of them have seen money come in from all corners of the
country. Jackson takes the generosity of others to heart.
look at your life and you go about your day – have food, go to the
grocery store, all that kind of stuff. These kids stay in the
hospital 24/7 (and) can’t do anything,” Jackson said. “They are
just helping out and doing everything they can to raise money for the
kids, so it’s definitely a special fundraiser and we’re enjoying
it a lot.”
a great feeling to see. It lets us know what our community is all
about. Not just our community, but humanity as a whole,” Bouchard
added. “It lets you know that no matter where we are in life –
financially, socially, mentally, or physically – we always have
room in our hearts to help someone else less fortunate than us.”
can still recall what he saw on his visit through the children’s
hospital and it has given him a new outlook on some things about life
and about what is most important
saw the kids walking through the hallways and in rooms with their
families and it shows how much of a connection they have with their
families. I’m sure all kids sometimes take their families for
granted, but it showed you that if everything else in the world is
gone your family is always gonna be there for you,” said Jackson.
“They have these kids’ backs every single moment of the day and
would do anything for them so it’s incredible.”
San Diego natives will return to Rady Children’s Hospital the
weekend of the Perfect Game All-American Classic with the rest of the
All-Americans. Bouchard is eager to witness the impact the visit will
have on his fellow ballplayers like it did on him.
who is selected for the game will be out there to talk to some of the
kids and families and really get a feel for what we had during the
tour,” Bouchard said. “I think it’s gonna be a really special,
humbling experience for them.”
Children’s Hospital first opened its doors in 1954 to 12 patients
during the polio epidemic. Since then, it has treated nearly two
million sick or injured children. Children's hospitals across the
country have been the beneficiary of the Classic since 2003 which has
generated close to $805,000.
can donate money to support any of the three players at this link:
Perfect Game All-American Classic