Jacksonville News

Photo by Member Mark Krancer, Kram Kran Photo

Photo by Member Mark Krancer, Kram Kran Photo


Date ArticleType
6/12/2023 4:00:00 AM Member News

Jumbo Shrimp PLAY BALL Weekend event helps underserved

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp hosted Major League Baseball’s PLAY BALL initiative, which encourages participation in the sports of baseball and softball amongst all ages, with a special focus on youth. PLAY BALL events took place across 30 MLB teams, 120 MILB teams and seven different continents.


The clinic, which took place at 121 Financial Ballpark on Saturday, is an effort to spread the game of baseball and offer resources for kids who are underserved with a passion for the game.


Jumbo Shrimp players and front office staff provided hands-on skill development during three different sessions in which participants received free instruction on hitting, fielding and base running. At the conclusion of the clinic, the youngsters were gifted a Franklin bat and ball set.


“Not only giving back to the kids that are here but just being able to give back to the game,” said infielder C.J Hinojosa. “These guys come in and they enjoy the game for what it is. They don’t take it too seriously, so they are here to have fun.”


“It’s great to give back and chances like this where you can come in hours before,” right-handed pitcher Jake Walters said. “Just to see the looks on the kids’ faces when they get to work with us and just trying to teach them the game the same way a lot of us started.”


As Hinojosa and Walters reflected on their time in youth baseball, it inspired memories from the past that sparked previous goals, aspirations and wide-eyed enjoyment of interacting with professional ball players.


“It’s a lot of fun for me, I mean I always have done it and I’ve always loved kids,” said Hinojosa. “Now that my kids are at the age where they can come out here, I get to hang out with them, and I also get to give back.”


With a constant theme of giving back and reflecting on their time as a youngster, the joy was displayed throughout the clinic.


“It’s cool to look back and realize that I was exactly like these kids,” said Walters. “To see how the roles are reversed now it is just important to make sure that you’re giving back.”


ABOUT THE JUMBO SHRIMP: The Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp offer affordable family fun at 121 Financial Ballpark. Their inaugural season garnered the Southern League’s Don Mincher Organization of the Year, Promotional Trophy and Jimmy Bragan Executive of the Year, won by general manager Harold Craw. The club added its second Promotional Trophy in three years following the 2019 season. The 2021 season marked the return of Triple-A baseball in Jacksonville. To experience the excitement with the terrific value of ticket and group options, call the Jumbo Shrimp at (904) 358-2846 or visit www.jaxshrimp.com.