Robert D. Manfred, Jr., Baseball Commissioner, reached the decision with Major League Baseball to recognize the San Francisco Giant’s Junior Giants Program for its commitment and success.
The Junior Giants Program was created in 1994 as a means to connect with youth in underserved communities. With this program, the San Francisco Giants were hoping to become role models for San Francisco’s young people, and to keep them out of trouble. It soon grew to be the largest Major League Baseball youth baseball program, with over 20,000 members. It is partnered with several other youth organizations, including the Boys & Girls clubs, that are also focused on community building and outreach. They have sponsorship from the Bank of America and supported by other organizations as well.
The program is even in the process of partnering with San Francisco State University to build a Junior Giants Urban Youth Academy on the university’s campus. It will target youth from underserved neighborhoods and will mainly house after school, Junior Giants-related activities and summer camps. The program also has a scholarship fund offered to its 13 year old members to congratulate them on exceptional community service and academic efforts. Ten scholars are selected each year and allocated $5,000 when they graduate high school.
Aligned with the baseball spirit, there additionally exists a Junior Giants Hall of Fame. This is used as a vehicle for recognizing contributors to the program, achievements of the program, and outstanding coaches. Anywhere from 1-3 people are inducted into the Hall of Fame each year.
The Junior Giants baseball program is free, non-competitive, and for children between the ages 5-18, and has grown significantly since its formation. The youth in this program are not only taught baseball skills in a fun and safe environment, but are also connected with mentors on the team and taught skills that they may not otherwise learn.
Junior Giants receive free uniforms and equipment, and even tickets to games. Beyond baseball, they are taught invaluable lessons on healthy living, character development, education, and how to avoid and prevent violence. Children from all backgrounds are welcomed. There is no question how dedicated this program is to its young members. Statistically, the youth in the program end up being more active and confident than they were before they joined.
Check out KNBR to learn more about the Commissioner’s Award and the great work the San Francisco Giants are doing for their kids.