Rosters announced for the Hank Aaron Invitational Showcase hosted at Truist Park on Sunday, July 30th

Participants set to take part in special “Cultural Day” activities on Saturday, July 29th; Hank Aaron Invitational is the premier diversity-focused baseball development initiative, powered by the MLB-MLBPA Youth Development Foundation in partnership with USA Baseball

July 29th, 2023

ATLANTA, GA – Following an unforgettable experience at the Jackie Robinson Training Complex (JRTC) in Vero Beach, Fla., 44 of the approximate 200 participants in the 2022 Hank Aaron Invitational have been selected to play in a special showcase game held annually at Truist Park, home of the Atlanta Braves, on Sunday, July 30th. The young men will be joined in Atlanta by Hall of Famer and MLB-MLBPA Youth Development Foundation Ambassador Ken Griffey Jr. The Hank Aaron Invitational, powered by the MLB-MLBPA Youth Development Foundation and in partnership with USA Baseball, is the premier diversity-focused baseball development experience for high school-age baseball players in the United States.

The 44 athletes – an homage to the number that the legendary Aaron wore throughout his Hall of Fame career – hailing from over half the country will represent their communities in the special showcase event after earning their spots following a week-long program of competition, coaching and evaluation. Participants have been selected by their JRTC coaches, most of whom were former Major League and Minor League players, managers or coaches. Notably, the showcase game rosters include seven players from the greater Atlanta region, and many others from programs that are providing high-quality coaching and mentorship year-round. All players are expected to graduate high school in 2024 or 2025.

The rosters will be broken down into two teams – “Team Hank Aaron” and “Team Jackie Robinson,” managed/coached by the following:

Team Aaron
Lou Collier (Manager)
Marquis Grissom
Willie Banks
Junior Spivey
Stan Kyles 

Team Robinson
Brian Hunter (Manager)
Howie Kendrick
Tye Waller
Marvin Freeman
Stan Kyles

The Hank Aaron Invitational Showcase Game will be played Sunday, July 30th at 8:00 p.m. ET, following the match up between the Atlanta Braves and the Milwaukee Brewers and will be aired LIVE on MLB Network. Admission for the game is free, and attendees may reserve tickets here.

Prior to this showcase game, the Atlanta Braves will host a special “Cultural Day” for players and coaches who will have the opportunity to have lunch at local Atlanta gem and historic restaurant Paschal's on Saturday, July 29th with VIP guests Ambassador Andrew Young, Mrs. Billye Aaron, Mrs. Rubye Lucas, Ralph Garr Sr., Atlanta Braves Chairman, Terry McGuirk and Atlanta Braves President & CEO, Derek Schiller. Additionally, players and coaches will receive a private tour of The King Center and The Atlanta University Center, home of Atlanta HBCUs (Historically Black College and Universities) including Moorehouse College, Clark Atlanta University and Spelman College. That evening, the 44 players will be joined by Griffey Jr. as they are recognized on the field prior to the Braves contest against the Milwaukee Brewers.

In addition to meeting Ambassador Young and Griffey Jr., these young men along with all other players from the developmental portion of the Hank Aaron Invitational were treated to a memorable opportunity on and off the field at the JRTC this past week. In complement to being instructed by dozens of former Major League players, managers and coaches on the field, they heard from a notable list of guests from throughout the baseball community, including MLBPA Executive Director Tony Clark, MLBPA Special Advisor, MLB-MLBPA YDF Board Member and Hall of Famer Dave Winfield, Former Southern Head Baseball Coach Roger Cador, Pittsburgh Pirates Professional Scout, Ricky Bennett and Licensed Clinical & Sports Psychologist Dr. Kensa Gunter.


  • The event started in 2015 as the Elite Development Invitational but was renamed at the 2018 World Series to the Hank Aaron Invitational to honor the legacy of the legendary Hall of Famer.
  • The event is powered by the MLB-MLBPA Youth Development Foundation, which is a joint initiative by MLB and MLBPA to support efforts that focus on improving the caliber, effectiveness and availability of amateur baseball and softball programs across the United States and internationally.
  • Over the last five MLB Drafts, more than 55 alumni of this event were selected including 2023 25th overall pick Dillon Head and 26th overall George Lombard. As well as 2022 1st round picks Termarr Johnson (Pittsburgh Pirates), Elijah Green (Washington Nationals), Justin Crawford (Philadelphia Phillies) and Cam Collier (Cincinnati Reds).
  • In total, more than 200 alumni of the program are playing baseball professionally in Club Minor League systems or on the collegiate level.