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All American Game  | Story  | 4/8/2021

2021 PGAAC Returns to Petco Park

Photo: Perfect Game
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (Thursday, April 8, 2021) – Perfect Game President Jerry Ford today announced that the 19th annual All-American Classic, the amateur baseball game featuring as many as 50 of the nation’s top-rated high school players, will return to San Diego’s Petco Park, Sunday, August 22, 2021. The All-American Classic pits the top high school players from the East against those from the West, and returns to San Diego for the 12th time in 13 years, after Oklahoma City played host in 2020.

Given the pandemic and its evolving local and regional impact and restrictions, the ticket distribution plan and other All-American Classic event details will be announced at a later time.

When Major League Baseball began its 2021 Championship Season last week, there were 87 Perfect Game All-American players on the Opening Day rosters of 28 of the 30 Major League teams. The Atlanta Braves boasted the most Perfect Game All-Americans, with six, including reigning NL MVP Freddie Freeman. He is joined by Ian Anderson, Max Fried, Alex Jackson, Tyler Matzek, and Austin Riley. Touki Toussaint, who began the season on the Injured List, is also an alum of the game.

The rosters for the 2021 All-American Classic will be announced in July, by a panel of talent evaluators assembled by Perfect Game. Between now and then, high school baseball players across the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico will be scouted and identified through a series of tournaments and events, including Perfect Game’s National Showcase, which takes place in St. Petersburg, Fla., July 14-18.

In 2020, the West defeated the East, 7-5, to win its fifth-straight and ninth out of the last 10 All-American Classic games. In all, players from the West hold a 12-6 edge over their counterparts from the East.

The All-American Classic not only shines a light on some of the world’s most talented high school baseball players, including many destined for Major League Baseball, it also provides an opportunity for the young athletes to demonstrate their passion for helping others. Players will have an opportunity to participate in a fundraising competition with the Perfect Game Cares Foundation, to help raise funds for patients of Rady Children’s Hospital of the Peckham Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders. Given the limitations imposed upon hospital visitations during the pandemic, each All-American player will be paired with a “buddy” from the hospital during certain on-field activities at Petco Park. Over the past 18 years, the All-American Classic fundraising activities have generated more than $1.3 million for a variety of local causes, including a record-breaking $119,819 raised during last year’s event in Oklahoma City to benefit the Toby Keith Foundation’s OK Kids Korral.

“We’re very excited about returning to San Diego and Petco Park to host the 2021 All-American Classic,” stated Jerry Ford. “Petco Park, the great city of San Diego and the area’s diehard baseball community have been gracious hosts of this event for 12 of the past 13 years, and we are confident that they will once again provide the players, their families and guests with an experience that will last a lifetime.”

“We are thrilled once again to be back in San Diego raising money for the incredible children of Rady Children’s Hospital. Our players and partners are incredibly passionate and committed to this cause and are forever touched with the impact their efforts make in the lives of these beautiful children,” said Jennifer Ford, executive director of the Perfect Game Cares Foundation.

“We are excited to once again welcome the rising stars in baseball to San Diego for the Perfect Game All-American Classic! It will be a tremendous opportunity for the participants to further their athletic endeavors in America’s finest ballpark, as well as enjoy our 70+ miles of beaches, world-class attractions and our renowned Cali-Baja cuisine,” added San Diego Tourism Authority President and CEO, Julie Coker.

“Since 2006, the Perfect Game All-American Classic has been fundraising for the Peckham Center for Cancer & Blood Disorders at Rady Children’s and have raised nearly $850,000 to date. This annual event allows the hospital to provide excellent care to nearly 300 newly diagnosed cancer patients each year. It was a pleasure to recognize Perfect Game as our 2019 Outstanding Community Fundraising Partner, and we are looking forward to safely resuming our partnership in 2021," stated Steve Jennings, SVP, Chief External Affairs Officer and Executive Director of Rady Children’s Foundation.

Since the All-American Classic’s inception in 2003, 228 participating players have been selected in the first round of Major League Baseball’s amateur draft. Nine of those players were selected with the first overall pick, including Royce Lewis (2017/Twins). In addition, 210 participants have appeared in a Major League Baseball game, including some of the game’s brightest stars, such as:

Corey Seager – 2020 World Series MVP and 2016 National League Rookie of the Year
Freddie Freeman – 2020 National League MVP
Kris Bryant – 2016 National League MVP and 2015 NL Rookie of the Year
Rick Porcello – 2016 American League Cy Young
Bryce Harper – 2015 National League MVP and 2012 NL Rookie of the Year
Carlos Correa – 2015 American League Rookie of the Year
Madison Bumgarner – 2014 NLCS and World Series MVP
Andrew McCutchen – 2013 National League MVP
Jose Fernandez – 2013 National League Rookie of the Year
Buster Posey – 2012 National League MVP and 2010 NL Rookie of the Year
Jeremy Hellickson – 2011 American League Rookie of the Year

Other notable PG All-Americans include Major League All-Stars Javier Baez, Alex Bregman, Gerrit Cole, Yasmani Grandal, Justin Upton, Sonny Gray, DJ LeMahieu, Francisco Lindor, Dellin Betances and Lance McCullers. Rawlings Gold Glove winners who have played in the Classic include Baez, Freeman, Hellickson, LeMahieu, Lindor, McCutchen, Jason Heyward and Eric Hosmer.