At Globe Life Park in Arlington, dreams come true when players make their Major League debuts. Just 16 miles from Globe Life Park at the Texas Rangers MLB Youth Academy at Mercy Street Sports Complex, Presented by Toyota, young athletes are taking the first steps towards making those dreams into
At Globe Life Park in Arlington, dreams come true when players make their Major League debuts. Just 16 miles from Globe Life Park at the Texas Rangers MLB Youth Academy at Mercy Street Sports Complex, Presented by Toyota, young athletes are taking the first steps towards making those dreams into reality.
In early October, Ruben Martinez Jr.'s family received an email from MLB inviting him to sign up for the MLB Draft Prospect Link, meaning he is officially on the radar of scouts surveying talent for MLB clubs.
"My dad was very, very happy. At first, we thought it was a fake email. So my mom came (to the Academy) asking, and they said it was a legitimate email. And I've just been happy ever since," Martinez said. "I was really surprised. It really caught me off guard."
The centralized Prospect Link platform was developed by MLB to streamline the collection of biographical and medical information and allow MLB and MLB Clubs to communicate directly with amateur players and their families.
Juan Leonel Garciga, the Texas Rangers Director of Youth Academy & Youth Baseball/Softball Programs, was able to reassure Martinez's mom that the email was legitimate.
"Ruben has worked very hard this summer and when MLB reached out requesting for an additional catcher for their Prospect Development Pipeline Premier back in June, we thought Ruben would be a good fit. He had an opportunity to compete with some of the top players in the DFW area and it looks like he held his own," Garciga said.
"We're hoping that people begin to take notice of the talent that is right in our backyard here in West Dallas, and that more of our players are given the opportunity to compete at the next level."
Martinez, who graduated from Nimitz High School, has the support of his family. His mom, Violeta Romero, is working through the registration process required by the site. But the whole family has been involved in his baseball journey since the beginning.
"He's been playing since he was five years old. His dad and his uncle have always coached him," Romero said of her son.
Participating in training programs and traveling to Washington D.C. as part of the Academy's team in the inaugural Commissioner's Cup tournament has already given the catcher an opportunity to represent the Texas Rangers, his favorite team
Now, he's one step closer to fulfilling his Big League dreams.
"Ever since I was little, I've always told everybody I was going to be up there one day. And now that it is possible, I'm going to try to pursue that," Martinez said.
Through the first three weeks of the Youth Academy Fall Training program, 610 baseball and softball players have taken part in the free activities.
Programming occurs Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. through November 15. Registration is now available for baseball and softball players ages seven through 18 at www.rangers.com/academy.
The fall season of RBI baseball and softball is underway at the Academy, with games being played on Saturdays through November 17.
An updated schedule for the eight baseball and four softball teams playing at the Academy is below.
Due to possible inclement weather in the forecast for tomorrow, Saturday, October 13, this week's schedule is subject to change. Updates will be posted via the @RangersYA twitter account.
ACADEMY RBI FALL SCHEDULE
DATE TIME HOME TEAM AWAY TEAM FIELD
13-Oct 9:00 AM Lancaster Mustangs Oates Field baseball
13-Oct 9:00 AM Hard Hitters Jaguars Field of Dreams baseball
13-Oct 11:30 AM Mercy Street Vikings Oates Field baseball
13-Oct 11:30 AM Leopards Rangers Field of Dreams baseball
13-Oct 9:00 AM Mercy Street Rangers Josh Hamilton Field softball
13-Oct 11:00 AM Tigers A's Josh Hamilton Field softball
20-Oct 9:00 AM Mercy Street Leopards Oates Field baseball
20-Oct 9:00 AM Mustangs Rangers Field of Dreams baseball
20-Oct 11:30 AM Vikings Hard Hitters Oates Field baseball
20-Oct 11:30 AM Lancaster Jaguars Field of Dreams baseball
20-Oct 9:00 AM Tigers Rangers Josh Hamilton Field softball
20-Oct 11:00 AM A's Mercy Street Josh Hamilton Field softball
27-Oct 9:00 AM Jaguars Rangers Oates Field baseball
27-Oct 9:00 AM Leopards Vikings Field of Dreams baseball
27-Oct 11:30 AM Hard Hitters Mustangs Oates Field baseball
27-Oct 11:30 AM Lancaster Mercy Street Field of Dreams baseball
27-Oct 9:00 AM Rangers A's Josh Hamilton Field softball
27-Oct 11:00 AM Mercy Street Tigers Josh Hamilton Field softball
3-Nov 9:00 AM Hard Hitters Leopards Oates Field baseball
3-Nov 9:00 AM Vikings Jaguars Field of Dreams baseball
3-Nov 11:30 AM Mustangs Mercy Street Field of Dreams baseball
3-Nov 11:30 AM Rangers Lancaster Oates Field baseball
3-Nov 9:00 AM Rangers Mercy Street Josh Hamilton Field softball
3-Nov 11:00 AM A's Tigers Josh Hamilton Field softball
9-Nov 7:00 PM Mercy Street A's Josh Hamilton Field softball
9-Nov 7:00 PM Rangers Tigers Kershaw's Challenge Field softball
10-Nov 2:00 PM Mercy Street Rangers Oates Field baseball
10-Nov 4:00 PM Jaguars Leopards Oates Field baseball
10-Nov 6:00 PM Vikings Mustangs Oates Field baseball
10-Nov 8:00 PM Lancaster Hard Hitters Oates Field baseball
17-Nov 9:00 AM Jaguars Mustangs Oates Field baseball
17-Nov 9:00 AM Vikings Rangers Field of Dreams baseball
17-Nov 11:30 AM Lancaster Leopards Oates Field baseball
17-Nov 11:30 AM Mercy Street Hard Hitters Field of Dreams baseball
17-Nov 9:00 AM Tigers Mercy Street Josh Hamilton Field softball
17-Nov 11:00 AM A's Rangers Josh Hamilton Field softball
Also Taking the Field
The Academy is also home field for Mercy Street Little League. The fall season began Friday, September 28.
West Dallas Little League partners with the Little League Urban initiative to facilitate baseball and softball for participants ages four through 12.
Registration is available at https://www.mercystreetdallas.org/baseball/
The Buck O'Neil Scouts Association Clinic: Saturday, November 10
The clinic aims to promote baseball in inner-cities by educating coaches and mentoring players.
Founded in honor of the late legendary player and scout Buck O'Neil, the Buck O'Neil Professional Baseball Scouts & Coaches Association was created to provide a forum for scouts and coaches to share their passion for the game. O'Neil was the first African American to coach in the Major Leagues and one of the first to scout fulltime.
Registration is available at rangers.com/academy for players ages 14 through 18.
Kershaw's Challenge Baseball Camp: Saturday, November 10
This will mark the seventh annual Kershaw's Challenge Baseball Camp, hosted by Mercy Street.
Dallas native Clayton Kershaw and his wife Ellen founded Kershaw's Challenge in 2011 and have since given over six millions dollars to support at-risk children and families around the globe. The foundation contributed generously to the building of the Academy facility, which includes Kershaw's Challenge Field named in his honor.