On Sunday, August 16, the 2009 Aflac All-American High School Baseball Classic featured 40 of the nation’s best players in an East versus West showcase. The game was held at PETCO Park, home of the San Diego Padres, in San Diego’s downtown Gaslamp Quarter. 2009 served as the seventh year for the Aflac Classic, a game which originated from Aflac’s commitment to raising money for the research and treatment of pediatric cancer. Aimed at serving the local community, this year’s game benefitted Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego. For the third year in a row, MLB Hall of Fame shortstop Ozzie Smith served as the game’s Honorary Chairman.
The San Diego Sports Commission (dba San Diego Hall of Champions) served as the Local Organizing Committee, working with Aflac and Blue Ridge Sports & Entertainment to put this event on. Among other things, SDSC managed the Classic’s online presence including AflacAllAmerican.com and social media avenues (Facebook, Twitter and Flickr). SDSC managed local public relations leading up to both the introductory press conference and game week as well as ticket promotions to local community groups. The Aflac Awards Banquet was hosted by SDSC at the San Diego Hall of Champions the night before Game Day.
More than 8,000 people attended the 2009 Aflac All-American Baseball Classic, making it the highest-attended game in its history. The players not only showcased their talents but also built new friendships in the process. The 2009 Aflac All-American High School Baseball Classic is certainly one for the history books.
Since 2009, the All-American Classic has returned to San Diego each year–in 2010, 2011 and 2012–largely due to the relationship established between event organizers and the Sports Commission. The game, which continues to attract top-tier talent from across the country, has taken on a new sponsor, Perfect Game USA, and plans to bring the contest back to San Diego for 2013.