FROM CBB NEWS SOURCE
SAN DIEGO – For the third time in four years, 40 of the nation’s top high school baseball players will descend upon San Diego to play in the Aflac All-American High School Baseball Classic, the country’s premier high school baseball showcase. This year’s game will be played on Aug. 16 at 5 p.m. PDT in PETCO Park, home of the San Diego Padres, and will once again be televised live nationally on FOX Sports Net.
The Classic features an East vs. West format, played annually during the late summer before most participants have returned to school. For the second consecutive year, the Aflac Classic will be played in a major league venue. The 2008 showcase was played in Los Angeles’ historic Dodger Stadium. The 2006 and 2007 games were held at San Diego State University’s Tony Gwynn Stadium.
The Aflac All-American Classic, however, is more than just a game. As part of Aflac’s ongoing commitment to the fight against childhood cancer, all game proceeds from the 2009 Aflac All-American High School Baseball Classic will benefit Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego. Since 2003, the game has generated nearly $685,000 for charity.
“The Aflac All-American Classic highlights baseball’s stars of tomorrow while enabling us to also extend our reach in the fight against pediatric cancer with Rady Children’s Hospital,” said Jeff Charney, Aflac’s chief marketing officer. “The city of San Diego has always offered tremendous support for this game and we are thrilled to bring it back to the community for another year.”
Hall of Fame shortstop, and former San Diego Padre, Ozzie Smith, will once again return as this year’s honorary chairman. In addition to helping promote the game, Smith will be on-site in San Diego for game week activities and to spend time with the players. This will be Smith’s third time as the Aflac Classic’s honorary chairman. Past honorary chairmen have included Hall of Famers Reggie Jackson (2006), Cal Ripken (2004, 2005) and Stan Musial (2003).
“It is an honor to once again be named honorary chairman for such a prestigious high school baseball showcase and return to the home of my first major league team,” said Smith. “This game has risen to such a level that the players have a unique opportunity to showcase their talents in front of a national audience and MLB scouts — an opportunity I wish I had starting out.”
Today also marks the release of the full 40-player roster for the 2009 Aflac Classic. Aflac All-Americans are chosen by the experts at the official selection partner, Perfect Game USA.
The Aflac All-American Classic boasts alumni who have had a huge impact in Major League Baseball’s first-year player drafts. Since the game’s inception in 2003, 65 alumni have been selected in the first round, including three No. 1 overall selections: Matt Bush (2004, San Diego) and Justin Upton (2005, Arizona), and this year’s top pick, Tim Beckham (2008, Tampa). There were 10 Aflac All-Americans taken in the first round of the 2009 draft, including the No. 3 pick, Donavan Tate, by the Padres. San Diego also drafted 2008 Aflac All-Americans Everett Williams and Keyvius Sampson.
The Aflac All-American High School Baseball Classic is considered the country’s marquee prep All-American event. All participants must have just completed their junior year of high school, be in good academic standing and display redeeming qualities off the field that embody the ideals of the sport of baseball, including discipline, determination and hard work.
Click here for the Full Roster.