Patriots’ slugger Tyler Austin has recently been named to the East squad of the Aflac All-American high school baseball team and will play in the All-American Baseball Classic in San Diego Aug. 16 at 5 p.m.
Austin’s appointment to the team comes to no surprise. The Heritage catcher led the team in nearly every offensive category in 2009 and was named to the Region 8-AAAA All-Region team. He’s been playing locally this summer for Conyers Post 77 American Legion team and is considered an early first round prospect in next year’s MLB draft.
The baseball showcase features an East versus West matchup of the nation’s top high school players following their junior year. For the second consecutive year, the Aflac Baseball Classic will be played in a major league venue. Last year’s showcase was played at Los Angeles’ historic Dodger Stadium.
The Aflac Baseball Classic is more than just a game: It is part of Aflac’s ongoing commitment to the fight against childhood cancer, with proceeds benefiting Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego. Since 2003, the Classic has generated nearly $685,000 for charity.
"The Aflac Baseball Classic showcases baseball’s stars of tomorrow, and also allows us to raise significant funds for local hospitals that share our passion in the fight against pediatric cancer. This year’s benefitting hospital is 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."
Ozzie Smith, Hall of Fame shortstop and former San Diego Padre, will again return as the Aflac Baseball Classic’s honorary chairman. In addition to helping promote the Classic, 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 stint as honorary chairman. Past honorary chairmen have included Hall of Famers Reggie Jackson (2006), Cal Ripken Jr. (2004, 2005) and Stan Musial (2003).