Auburn In The Major Leagues 

A participant in a previous Jr. Home Run Derby takes a swing. 




Auburn and the Braves are ready to team up. 

On June 8, Major League Baseball and The Braves will come to The Plains in order to provide children a chance to grow their skills and learn from some of the best. 

There will be two events on June 8 — Pitch, Hit & Run and the Home Run Derby. 

“Pitch, Hit & Run (PHR) events provide boys and girls an opportunity to showcase their baseball and softball skills, with the opportunity of earning a chance to attend and compete for a Championship during the 2023 MLB World Series,” said information from the Braves. 

There is a 7 to 8 division, a 9 to 10 division, an 11 to 12 division or a 13 to 14 division. The age cut-off is Nov. 15, 2023. 

“They will be tested, and their measurements will be recorded for points,” The Braves site said. “Based on their scores, they will advance from a local event to a Team Championship and then to the National Finals hosted at the World Series.”

The Jr. Home Run Derby  is for the older players, the 12U or 14U with an age cut-off of July 20, 2023. 

Softball players will have a division for 14U and 16U, the site said. 

“Our Pitch, Hit & Run and Jr. Home Run Derby event is a way for the Braves to reach local communities within Braves Country to promote the games of baseball and softball at a grassroots level,” said Greg McMichael, senior director of alumni relations and Growing The Game Initiative. 

The Braves have been in Auburn before, said Anthony Terling, who handles a lot of the sports development for AO Tourism. 

“It started about two or three years ago; Auburn-Opelika Tourism, in conjunction with the city of Auburn and, actually, the city of Opelika, put together what’s called … Growing the Game,” he said. 

Growing the Game includes camps and clinics for children in the area, specifically for the Lee County area, which meant boys travel baseball tournaments. 

“Auburn, Alabama, has hosted our Braves Country Battles baseball tournament annually and has had incredible success,” McMichael said. “We wanted to bring an extra event to Auburn to show our appreciation and promote their league.”

This was often held at Duck Samford Park, the Auburn Softball Complex and West Ridge Park, Sterling said. 

“So it was a community, two-city-wide collaboration to run that tournament, have people, families come from all over the Southeast,” Terling said. “Last year, had as many as 96 teams come.”

Children will have the opportunity to learn from representatives from Major League Baseball and The Atlanta Braves Growing the Game team, McMichael said. 

“This will be an opportunity for them to showcase their skills while also learning new ones,” McMichael said. “Not only are these events fun for kids of all ages, but the lessons they’ll learn extend beyond the baseball diamond: teamwork, camaraderie and hard work.”

Registration is necessary and time slots for children interested in participating can be found online: 

“For AO Tourism, our whole mission statement is just help our community improve itself, through quality of life, through bringing visitors to town, to stay in our hospitality and our restaurants, and our hotels, and shop and those kind of things,” Terling said. “So those things allow our community and our city to grow through economic development, through tourism. So my main goal, or my main job, is to bring sporting events … to showcase our community to visitors from all over the country. But more importantly, giving our kids who live local the opportunity to compete or to participate in something really neat with a brand like The Atlanta Braves, and of course, MLB.”


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