BALTIMORE, Aug. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Justin Upton, an all-star shortstop from
Great Bridge High School in Chesapeake, Va., was named the AFLAC National High
School Player of the Year tonight at the 2004 AFLAC All-American Awards Dinner
at the Wyndham Baltimore Inner Harbor Hotel. Upton was presented with the
inaugural Jackie Robinson Award by the late Hall of Fame player's wife, Rachel
Robinson, and legendary Baltimore Orioles shortstop Cal Ripken, Jr. (Note: a
photo of Upton, Robinson and Ripken will be available
at http://www.aflacallamerican.com after 9:30 p.m. EDT.)
(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20040805/CLTH065 )
The AFLAC National High School Player of the Year recognizes the nation's
top high school rising senior, who demonstrates outstanding character,
exhibits leadership, and embodies the values of being a student-athlete in
both his schoolwork and community affairs. The accompanying Jackie Robinson
Award is named for the renowned Brooklyn Dodger, the first player to break the
color barrier in Major League Baseball, and a leader in social issues off the
"Justin Upton has established himself as a player of both strength and
character," said Al Johnson, vice president of advertising, AFLAC. "His
excellence both on and off the field makes him the fitting recipient of the
AFLAC National High School Player of the Year honor."
Upton is consistently recognized as one of the top rising baseball stars
in the nation, and is rated as the preeminent shortstop in the 2005 class.
This season, he was the only junior named to USA Today's 2004 All-USA high
school baseball team, batting .565 with eight home runs, 23 RBIs, 30 stolen
bases, and a 1.138 slugging percentage. Upton also enjoys working with kids,
which he has done for many years at various baseball camps.
Upton was chosen from among six nominees determined by official AFLAC
All-American Baseball Classic selection partners Perfect Game and Baseball
America. The other player of the year nominees were:
* Austin Jackson, OF, Ryan High School - Denton, Texas
* Cameron Maybin, OF, TC Roberson High School - Arden, N.C.
* Sean O'Sullivan, RHP, Valhalla High School - El Cajon, Calif.
* Zach Putnam, RHP/SS, Pioneer High School - Ann Arbor, Mich.
* Iain Sebastian, RHP/1B, Columbus High School - Columbus, Ga.
The second annual AFLAC All-American High School Baseball Classic will be
played on Friday, Aug. 6 at Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen, Md. The event is a
baseball showcase featuring the nation's top 40 rising senior players in an
East vs. West match-up. Cal Ripken, Jr., is the honorary chairman of the 2004
game, which will be televised nationally on FOX Sports Net on Sunday, Aug. 8.
All proceeds will benefit the division of Pediatric Oncology at Johns Hopkins
Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center.
The AFLAC All-American High School Baseball Classic is produced by Sports
America, Inc., an event management and sports marketing corporation based in
For more information about the AFLAC All-American High School Baseball
Classic and to download pictures and bios of the player of the year nominees,
log on to http://www.aflacallamerican.com .
AFLAC Incorporated (NYSE: AFL) is an international holding company. A
Fortune 500(R) company, AFLAC insures more than 40 million people worldwide.
It is a leading writer of insurance products marketed at the worksite in the
United States, offering policies to employees at more than 307,600 payroll
accounts. The company insures one out of four Japanese households and is the
largest life insurer in Japan in terms of individual insurance policies in
force. In January 2004, AFLAC was included in Fortune magazine's list of
"The 100 Best Companies to Work for" for the sixth consecutive year. Also in
January 2004, AFLAC was named to Forbes magazine's "Platinum 400 List of Best
Big Companies in America" for the fifth consecutive year. In March 2004,
Fortune magazine included AFLAC in its annual listing of "America's Most
Admired Companies." AFLAC's Internet address is http://www.aflac.com .
Sports America, Inc. is an event management and sports marketing
corporation based in Rockville, Md. The company has created and currently
produces the AFLAC All-American High School Baseball Classic and National
Selection Tour, the McDonald's All-American High School Basketball Game and
Jordan Capital Classic High School All-Star Basketball Game.
Dave Watson Dan Sabreen
AFLAC Sports America, Inc.
(706) 243-5420 (301) 424-9334