Academy Notebook: Rangers announce high school baseball games to be played at Academy; athletes reflect on Hank Aaron’s legacy 

January 29th, 2021

The Texas Rangers today announced the schedule for Dallas ISD high school baseball games that will be played this season at the Texas Rangers MLB Youth Academy at Mercy Street Sports Complex, presented by Toyota.

L.G. Pinkston High School, Sunset High School and Thomas Jefferson High School baseball teams will all play home games at the Academy again in 2021.

After an Oct. 2019 tornado destroyed Thomas Jefferson’s facilities, the school’s athletic teams moved many activities to the Academy. Thomas Jefferson Baseball Coach Bryan West considers the opportunity to play at the Academy “a shot in the arm” for his athletes.

“We lead the league in unique challenges. We’re playing at the Academy because our school was wrecked by the Tornado in October of 2019, so we’re having school at the old Edison Middle School on Singleton. We don’t really have a field.” West said. “The Rangers have been extremely good to us.”

Below is the baseball schedule for DISD high school games to be played at the Academy this season. Scheduling is subject to change.

Academy athletes reflect on Hank Aaron’s legacy

Several athletes from the Rangers Academy were among the many to benefit from Hank Aaron’s efforts to celebrate the game’s younger generations of stars.

Colin Moore (2023, Prosper High School) and Austin Philips (2024, Arlington Martin) traveled to Vero Beach, Fla., in July 2019 to participate in the Hank Aaron Invitational, an amateur development event and on-field diversity initiative aiming to help high school-age players from diverse backgrounds to the next levels of the game.

They took some time recently to reflect on Aaron’s legacy and their time at the Hank Aaron Invitational.

“It was awesome to be in the presence of such amazing players and coaches that have played at the highest level of the game. It also gave me the opportunity to meet some talented up and coming players,” Philips said of the invitational.

“Mr. Aaron was able to overcome racism and segregation in the deep south to become one of the greatest players to ever play the game of baseball,” Philips added. “No matter what situation or circumstance you find yourself in you should work hard and strive for excellence.”

For Moore, participating in the invitations was “a dream come true.”

“To be able to wear his name on my chest while playing with some of the best players in the country was truly an honor. In addition to playing with great guys, we had some of the best coaches and mentors in the world. I still keep in contact with some of my coaches,” Moore said.

“The thing I learned the most from Mr. Aaron’s life was to be a good person first then a great player! There is so much you can do as a person after baseball. After I’m done playing baseball, I want to be an attorney and own a practice where I can help people.”

Clinic with the pros

The Major League Baseball Alumni Association will conduct a Legends for Youth Clinic at the Academy on Saturday, Jan. 30.

The MLBPAA seeks to provide a positive baseball experience by empowering young baseball players to make positive life decisions while also teaching the fundamentals of the game in a multi-station format.

Activities for the free clinic will run from 8:30 a.m.-12 p.m. on Oates Field for athletes ages 13-18. A limited number of spots remain, and registration is available at https://texasrangersya.leagueapps.com/.

DISD High School Softball Schedule

L.G. Pinkston High School hosts Justin F. Kimball High School on Tuesday, Feb. 2 to kick off the 2021 slate of high school games at the facility.

In addition to Pinkston, Thomas Jefferson High School and Sunset High School are playing softball home games at the Academy this season. All three programs have already started practicing at the facility in preparation for the new season.

Feb. 2 will mark the first DISD high school game at the facility since spring sports seasons ended abruptly last March due to COVID.

Below is the softball schedule for DISD high school games to be played at the Academy this season. Scheduling is subject to change.

Winter Programming

Winter isn’t stopping athletes from honing their baseball and softball skills at the Academy, as the Winter Training Program is underway. Over 160 athletes are registered to participate.

The complete programming schedule by age group is listed below. All programming runs from 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Registration is available as texasrangers.com/academy.

Black History Month Celebrations

The Academy is preparing to celebrate Black History Month in February with the annual Black History Month Baseball Camp presented by Nike and its inaugural Black History Month Jamboree on Saturday, Feb. 6.

The camp will run from 9-11 a.m. and be followed by the jamboree, which will be three baseball games between six area schools. Participating schools and scheduling for the Jamboree will be announced soon.