Choo donates lights to Youth Academy

November 12th, 2020

ARLINGTON -- has yet to reveal his plans for next season, but he is still staying active in the Rangers' community endeavors.

Choo, who became a free agent after the World Series, has made donations to the Texas Rangers MLB Youth Academy in West Dallas to help improve the facilities at the Mercy Street Sports Complex. The veteran outfielder provided the money to add exterior lighting stands to what is now known as the Shin-Soo Choo Batting Cages on the south side of the complex and the Prince Fielder Batting Cages near Oates Field. Eight 750-watt sport LED lights were added to illuminate the cages, with four allotted to the Choo cages and four to the Fielder cages.

Choo was the Rangers' nominee for the 2020 Roberto Clemente Award, an annual recognition of the MLB player who best represents the game through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions, both on and off the field. Every club nominee receives a donation from Major League Baseball Charities to a charity of his choice. Choo selected the Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation, which designated the funds to name a batting cage after him.

“What a great honor to have my name associated with the batting cages and outdoor lights at the academy,” Choo said. “My intention was to help others, and the Rangers’ Clemente nomination was a special gift that I did not expect.”

The lights provide an estimated four additional hours of use each weeknight, allowing 50 additional athletes to safely practice every night.

With the donation, all academy field locations are now equipped with appropriate lighting to allow for evening programming for the Rangers Academy and Mercy Street Sports. Athletes from Pinkston High School and Thomas Jefferson High School, who practice and play their home games at the facility, also benefit from the increased time and field space for practice.

“The lights have allowed us to use the cages in the evening for our fall baseball and softball programming at the academy, allowing us to better social distance,” academy director Juan Leonel-Garciga said. “The cages have also allowed for Mercy Street to have additional practice space for the West Dallas Little League,”

Nike contributed additional funds to support the lighting project at the Youth Academy as part of its partnership with the Texas Rangers and Nike’s commitment to supporting and growing youth baseball and softball.