Winner To Take Home the Coveted Jackie Robinson Award
COLUMBUS, Ga., July 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Pitchers with incredible talent
dominate the finalists as four hurlers are among the five players nominated
for the fifth annual Aflac National High School Player of the Year Award,
given to the country's top prep baseball player. The Player of the Year
recipient will be presented with the Jackie Robinson Award, a trophy named in
honor of the late Hall of Famer. Sharon Robinson, Robinson's daughter, will
present the award at the Aflac All-American Awards Dinner held at the Omni
Hotel on Aug. 8, 2008, in Los Angeles. Also on hand for the ceremony will be
Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith, who returns as honorary chairman for the 2008 Aflac
All-American Baseball Game.
"We are extremely pleased to once again have Jackie Robinson's name
associated with this prestigious award," said Sharon Robinson. "This award has
gone to fine young men who exemplify what my father stood for, and gives
recognition to the student athletes who strive for excellence and give back to
The Player of the Year nominees are:
-- Mychal Givens, INF/RHP, Plant HS - Tampa, Fla.
-- Austin Maddox, C/RHP, Eagle's View Academy - Jacksonville, Fla.
-- Tyler Matzek, LHP, Capistrano Valley HS - Mission Viejo, Ca.
-- Matthew Purke, LHP, Klein HS - Spring, Texas
-- Donavan Tate, OF, Cartersville HS - Cartersville, Ga.
-- Jacob Turner, RHP, Westminster Christian Academy - St. Charles, Mo.
The inaugural Jackie Robinson Award, presented in 2004, went to Aflac
All-American alumnus Justin Upton, a shortstop from Great Bridge HS
(Chesapeake, Va.). The Arizona Diamondbacks made Upton the No. 1 overall pick
of the 2005 Major League Baseball June draft. Other winners were Cody Johnson,
a first baseman/outfielder from Mosley HS (Panama City, Fla.) in 2005, Michael
Burgess, an outfielder/pitcher from Hillsborough HS (Tampa, Fla.) in 2006 and
Tim Melville, a pitcher/outfielder from Wentzville HS (Wentzville, Mo.), was
honored last year.
The Jackie Robinson award, named after the first player to break the Major
League Baseball color barrier, recognizes the nation's top rising senior who
demonstrates outstanding character, exhibits leadership and embodies the
values of being a student athlete. The player of the year nominees were
determined by official Aflac All-American Baseball Game selection partner
Perfect Game and media partner Baseball America.
The sixth annual Aflac All-American High School Baseball Game will be
played Saturday, Aug. 9, at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. The event is the
nation's elite high school baseball showcase featuring the top 38 rising
senior players in an East vs. West match-up. The game will be televised live
nationally on Fox Sports Net at 3 p.m. Eastern time. Proceeds from the game
will benefit ThinkCure, the official charity of the Dodgers, which supports
critical cancer research at City of Hope and Childrens Hospital of Los
Angeles. Since 2005, the game has generated nearly $525,000 for charity.
To learn more about the Aflac National High School Player of the Year
nominees and the Aflac All-American High School Baseball Game, visit
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