Being named the Youth of the Year for the Texas Rangers MLB Youth Academy at Mercy Street Sports Complex, Presented by Toyota, on October 2 was just the start of the journey for Miguel Perez Torres.
On Saturday, October 26, Torres and nine other members of MLB Youth Academies from around the country were recognized during pre-game ceremonies for Game Four of the World Series at Dodger Stadium.
Prior to the game, Torres and fellow Youths of the Year served as event clinicians in a PLAY BALL event for more than 350 kids hosted by Major League Baseball, the Los Angeles Dodgers, and the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation.
"Saturday was probably one of the best days of my life," Torres said. "First we went to the PLAY BALL event and we were helping out kids and we threw some Wiffle balls to the smaller kids. That was pretty fun. It was interesting. I liked how we could show them what to do and what they could improve on."
Each Academy named a Youth of the Year to recognize a participant who has had a positive year on and off the field, overcome challenges in their lives, or made a positive impact in their community. A trip to Game Four, courtesy of MLB, was part of the reward.
"One special friend was from Puerto Rico, Daniel. We had a deep conversation about baseball and what were our plans for the future. The saddest part was leaving," Torres said.
Halloween came early to the Academy, with participants in the Youth Academy Fall Training Program wearing costumes and playing a game of kickball on Oates Field for a special night of camp on Tuesday, October 30.
Through the first six weeks of the Youth Academy Fall Training program, 1,029 baseball and softball players have taken part in the activities.
The free programming occurs Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. through November 15. Registration is available for baseball and softball players ages 7 through 18 at www.rangers.com/academy.
The fall season of RBI baseball and softball is underway at the Academy, with games being played on Saturdays through November 17.
An updated schedule for the eight baseball and four softball teams playing at the Academy is below.
Scheduling is subject to change, and updates will be posted via the @RangersYA twitter account.
Also Taking the Field
The Academy is also home field for Mercy Street Little League. The fall season began Friday, September 28.
West Dallas Little League partners with the Little League Urban initiative to facilitate baseball and softball for participants ages four through 12.
Registration is available at https://www.mercystreetdallas.org/baseball/
The Buck O'Neil Scouts Association Clinic: Saturday, November 10
The clinic aims to promote baseball in inner-cities by educating coaches and mentoring players.
Founded in honor of the late legendary player and scout Buck O'Neil, the Buck O'Neil Professional Baseball Scouts & Coaches Association was created to provide a forum for scouts and coaches to share their passion for the game. O'Neil was the first African American to coach in the Major Leagues and one of the first to scout fulltime.
Registration is available at rangers.com/academy for players ages 14 through 18.
Kershaw's Challenge Baseball Camp: Saturday, November 10
This will mark the seventh annual Kershaw's Challenge Baseball Camp, hosted by Mercy Street.
Dallas native Clayton Kershaw and his wife Ellen founded Kershaw's Challenge in 2011 and have since given over six millions dollars to support at-risk children and families around the globe. The foundation contributed generously to the building of the Academy facility, which includes Kershaw's Challenge Field named in his honor.
West Dallas Youth College Prep Night: Friday, November 16, 5:00-8:00p.m.
The Mobile Go Center (MGC) will roll into the Academy to help the class of 2019 fill out their FAFSA/TASFA and Apply Texas forms.
Part of Texas Woman's University's Go Program, the MGC provides college-going resources to high school students and their families with the goal of increasing the number of Texas students enrolling in higher education. An extension of the College for All Texans Campaign, the MGC is equipped with laptops, high-speed internet and access to digital resources and publications.
Registration for the free event is available now at https://texasrangersya.leagueapps.com/classes/858949-west-dallas-youth-college-prep.