Son of Legendary Yankees' and Cardinals' slugger to coach in nationally televised all-star baseball game benefiting pediatric cancer
COLUMBUS, GA. – JULY 3, 2006 – Kevin Maris, baseball coach at Oak Hall School in Gainesville, Fla., has been selected to coach the East squad for the Aflac All-American High School Baseball Classic.
The fourth annual Aflac Classic will showcase the country's top rising high school seniors in an East versus West match-up on Aug.12 at San Diego State's Tony Gwynn Stadium. It will be broadcast live on FSN at 3 p.m. Eastern Time.
Maris, whose father, Roger, held the major league record for most home runs in a season for 37 years with 61, has a career coaching record of 266-175. Oak Hall, a small Division 1A school, has played competitively against some of Florida's toughest competition, including many Division 5A and 6A high schools. Maris' Oak Hall teams, who play at Roger Maris Field, made the semifinals in the Florida State Championship from 1994-96. During one stretch, his teams qualified for the state tournament for 10 consecutive seasons. This past season, his team won its district championship.
"I am honored to have been asked to take part in this game," Maris said. "It is one of the best in the country, and the fact that its proceeds go to such a worthy cause makes me proud to be a part of such a special event."
As a part of Aflac's ongoing commitment to the fight against childhood cancer, all game proceeds are donated to the research and treatment of pediatric cancer. A combination of athletics and philanthropy, the Aflac All-American Baseball Classic successfully blends sporting excitement with charitable aid.
Since the game's inception, the event has raised nearly $200,000 for pediatric cancer. Proceeds from the 2006 Aflac All-American High School Baseball Classic will benefit San Diego's Children's Hospital and Health Center.
“Having Kevin Maris involved in the classic enhances our game tremendously,” Al Johnson, second vice president, advertising and branding at Aflac. “His body of work and the respect he has from his peers makes his selection as one of our coaches a major accomplishment.”
Maris also coached an American Legion Program that reached the National Championship in the late 1990s, and has been a professional scout with the Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
The Aflac All-American High School Baseball Classic is endorsed by many of the game's pillars, including Major League Baseball. Baseball legend Reggie Jackson will serve as the game's honorary chairman. Past honorary chairmen have been Baltimore Orioles great Cal Ripken – who served in that role the past two games – and Hall of Famer Stan Musial.
For three consecutive years, 29 Aflac All-Americans have been taken in the first round including the No. 1 overall draft picks in 2004 and 2005. The 2006 draft saw 11 Aflac All-Americans drafted in the first round. Overall, 114 Aflac All-Americans have been drafted by Major League teams since the event began in 2003.
To learn more about the Aflac All-American High School Baseball Classic, or for more information about dates and stops on the official selection tour, visit www.aflacallamerican.com.
For more than 50 years, Aflac products have given policyholders the opportunity to direct cash where it is needed most when a life-interrupting medical event causes financial challenges. Aflac is the number one provider of guaranteed-renewable insurance in the United States and the number one insurance company in terms of individual insurance policies in force in Japan. Aflac's insurance products provide protection to more than 40 million people worldwide. Aflac has been included in Fortune magazine's listing of America's Most Admired Companies for six consecutive years and Forbes magazine's Platinum 400 List of America's Best Big Companies for five consecutive years. In January 2006, Aflac was included in Fortune magazine's list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in America for the eighth consecutive year. Aflac was also included in Fortune magazine's list of the Top 50 Employers for Minorities in August 2005, and in September 2005, Aflac Japan was named the Life Insurance Company of the Year at the Asia Insurance Industry Awards, sponsored by the Asia Insurance Review. Aflac Incorporated is a Fortune 500 company listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol AFL. To find out more about Aflac, visit aflac.com.