Rangers Academy Notebook: New gear for participants

September 13th, 2019

Athletes from the Texas Rangers Youth Academy at Mercy Street Sports Complex, Presented by Toyota, are entering the fall season with the gear they need, thanks to an equipment distribution at the facility.

On Saturday, 170 baseball and softball players received gloves, bats, helmets, cleats and more that was donated by Texas Rangers fans as part of the Academy Sports + Outdoors Baseball Tomorrow Fund equipment drive last month. The equipment drive was supported by Rangers infielder Isiah Kiner-Falefa, while Academy Sports + Outdoors gave a $2,500.00 gift card to the Rangers Baseball Foundation for the purchase of equipment.

Additional new and used apparel and cleats was donated by the Rangers clubhouse throughout the year.

Starting Monday…

Fall programming begins Monday, September 16 and runs through November 21. There will be no programming October 14 through 18 or October 31.

Mondays and Wednesdays from 6:30-8:30 p.m. will feature activities for 18U athletes. Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:30-8:30 p.m. will be designed for 12U athletes. Additionally, the weight room will be available to 18U athletes from 4:30-6:30 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays and 5:00-8:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Registration is now available at https://texasrangersya.leagueapps.com/camps.

Blessings in a Backpack

More than 95 percent of Academy athletes receive free or reduced cost meals at their schools. With their families facing food shortages, meals may be in short supply on the weekends and when school is not in session.

But the Blessings in a Backpack program, which kicks off Thursday, September 19 at the Academy, will help to provide shelf stable food for 100 of these students each week following the 6:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday training sessions for 12U athletes at the facility.

Outfielder Hunter Pence and pitcher Lance Lynn joined The Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation to partner with Blessings in a Backpack. The program mobilizes resources to provide food on the weekends to elementary school students who might otherwise go hungry, thanks in part to a grant provided through Major League Baseball Charities and Big League Impact.

Player To Be Named Later…

Academy staff is gearing up to name the 2019 Texas Rangers Youth Academy Athlete of the year. The nominee in chosen based on consistently demonstrating excellence on and off the field and serving as a role model to other Academy athletes.

Participation in Academy programming, RBI play, and education events are all considered by Academy staff in making the decision.

The Youth of the Year will attend Game 4 of the 2019 World Series and represent the Rangers Youth Academy in pre-game ceremonies, in addition to participating in a PLAY BALL clinic in that city.

A winner will be announced in the coming weeks, and more information and video of the athlete will follow.

Taking the Show on the Road

Two Rangers Academy athletes have been named to the Breakthrough Series team that will compete in the 2019 World Wood Bat Association (WWBA) Freshman World Championships in West Palm Beach, Fla., next month.

Austin Phillips (2024, Young Men’s Leadership Academy) and Collin Moore (2024 Rogers Middle School) will represent the Academy on the Breakthrough Series team, which is made up of athletes who distinguished themselves at MLB Breakthrough Series events this summer. Both participated in the re-branded Hank Aaron Invitational in July.

The WWBA Freshman World Championship Tournament is a Perfect Game event featuring over 70 teams competing at FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches in West Palm Beach, Fla. from October 11-14. This will mark the seventh year of the tournament, which has seen more than 62 former participants drafted to MLB teams and 1,238 former participants ink college commitments.

Fall RBI Upcoming

Preparations are underway for the fall RBI season at the Academy. The season begins October 5, and the schedule is expected to be announced in the coming weeks.