Athletes selected to participate in Major League Baseball’s summer development initiatives are being announced, and baseball and softball players from the Texas Rangers MLB Youth Academy at Mercy Street Sports Complex, Presented by Toyota, are among them.
On Thursday, April 11, shortstop/pitcher Ricky Rangel and outfielder Joshua Marcellus became the most recent to be included, as they were invited to participate in the MLB/USA Baseball Breakthrough Series in Compton, Calif. at the Compton Youth Academy from June 21 to 23.
Rangel, a junior at Duncanville High School, was a member of the Rangers Academy team that traveled to Washington D.C. in July to participate in the Commissioner’s Cup series as part of 2018 All-Star Week festivities. He also earned a spot on the Rangers Academy RBI All-Star team that traveled to the 2018 RBI Southwest Regionals in Austin.
Marcellus, a junior at Sachse High School, also represented the Academy at the RBI Southwest Regionals.
It will be the first Breakthrough Series experience for both baseball players.
On the softball side of the Breakthrough Series, the Academy will be represented by Melanie Henderson-Lopez and Erin Ledesma at the May 23 to 27 events at the Kansas City Urban Youth Academy.
Henderson-Lopez, a catcher who attends Irving High School, also participated in the Breakthrough series last year.
Ledesma, a shortstop who attends Irma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School, plays softball for Sunset High School.
Both Henderson and Ledesma represented the Academy around the country in 2018, including traveling to the USA Softball Elite Development Invitational, playing on the Academy’s team in the Jennie Finch Classic during the 2018 All-Star Game festivities, and the Rangers Academy RBI All-Star team at the RBI Southwest Regionals.
Celebrating a Legacy
On April 15, 1978, Jackie Robinson made his historic Major League debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers.
On Thursday, April 18, Academy participants and just keep livin’ students from L.G. Pinkston High School will celebrate Robinson’s legacy with a screening of the movie “The Other Boys of Summer” and a panel discussion on the legacy of Jackie Robison throughout baseball and American society at the Academy.
“The Other Boys of Summer" explores civil rights in America through the lives of the Negro League baseball players. Narrated by Cicely Tyson, the film features never-before-seen interviews with the trailblazers who played alongside Jackie Robinson and changed baseball and America forever. Through the lens of America’s pastime, “The Other Boys of Summer” draws from our past to shine the spotlight on issues that dominate today’s headlines.
Rangers outfielder Delino DeShields, former Rangers pitcher Darren Oliver, and Emmy Nominated Director Lauren Meyer will participate in a panel, moderated by Rangers Director Youth Academy & Youth Baseball/Softball Programs Juan Leonel Garciga to discuss the impact of Jackie Robinson on their lives and the game of baseball.
“I’m looking forward to sharing the film with the Rangers Youth Academy and introducing the kids to the humble heroes from the Negro Leagues. The goal is to connect the generations and inspire people of all ages to pursue their dreams and believe anything is possible,” Lauren Meyer, the Director/Filmmaker, said.
The movie is scheduled to begin at 6:15 p.m., followed by the panel discussion at 7:00 p.m.
High School Schedules
The regular season schedule is wrapping up for L.G. Pinkston High School and Sunset High School baseball teams, which call the Academy home all season.
Sunset JV and varsity will host Seagoville High School on Oates Field today, Friday, April 12.
The schedule of baseball games at the Academy is below. Scheduling is subject to change.
Pinkston softball will play its final home game of the season on Thursday, April 18, hosting North Dallas.
Below is the current schedule of remaining softball games at the Academy. Scheduling is subject to change.
Pinkston High School baseball and softball teams call the Academy home again in 2019. The facility also supports scheduling for David W. Carter High School and Sunset High School Baseball, in addition to Pinkston Middle School Softball. Various other Dallas ISD games and tournaments are played at the Academy throughout the year, too.
Through four weeks of the Academy’s Spring Training Programming, 204 athletes have participated.
Spring Programming will be held for 18U on Mondays and Wednesdays, while training for 12U will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Activities are from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Programming runs through May 2, and registration is available at rangers.com/academy.
RBI On Deck
The 2019 Texas Rangers Youth Academy RBI Summer League gets underway next month. Softball and baseball players who participate in the RBI program also have the opportunity to work towards trying out to become Academy RBI All-Stars, traveling to represent the Academy in the RBI Southwest Regional and potentially beyond.