It’s every young baseball player’s dream to play like the pros, and now local youth have the opportunity to don the well-known orange and black of the San Francisco Giants through the Stanislaus County Police Activity League’s annual Junior Giants program.
Entering its 24th year, Junior Giants is a free, noncompetitive baseball program for boys and girls age 5-18 sponsored by the Giants Community Fund. Not only does the program teach participants the skills they need to win, but it also instills valuable character traits, like teamwork, confidence, leadership and integrity. The eight-week program focuses on a curriculum complete with prizes for successfully completing tasks that revolve around healthy eating and doing the right thing.
“This program is great for the community, and helps kids to stay busy during the summer,” said Stanislaus County PAL Field Supervisor Eduardo Ayon. “Everything is free for the families, and each week there’s a lesson about things like exercise and good eating habits, which helps kids stay healthy.”
Coaches for the Junior Giants are volunteers, and children who sign up for the program are divided up into teams that then play games against each other. Games and practices take place at Hatch Field in Keyes, said Ayon.
“Junior Giants helps kids stay physical and choose the right path,” said Ayon.
The Junior Giants is an eight-week program and will hold its first games during the week of June 12. Signups are accepted until June 5, and a First Pitch Meeting will take place on Thursday at the Keyes Community Center, 5506 Jennie Ave. There, parents can receive more information about the league, have their questions answered and find out what to expect from the Junior Giants program.
Today, the Junior Giants program serves more than 25,000 participants in 90 leagues. Scholarships are available for players, and the Giants often invite program participants to meet players in San Francisco at AT&T Park.
Those who are interested in both playing and coaching can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Eduardo Ayon at 209-595-7879. To register a player online, visit http://stanislauscountypoliceactivitiesleague.siplay.com/site/