Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Vs. The Twins
The White Sox have won nine of their last 13 games and 22 of 35 as they open this six-game trip with three games in Minnesota. The Sox are 22-13 since 5/7, the third-best record in the AL. During the run, the Sox have gone from 11 games back in the AL Central race to four games entering tonight.
The Sox have lost 12 of their last 14 games vs. Minnesota and 26 of 33 dating to 5/21/09, so it’s time for something to change.
PK enters tonight on a 13-game hitting streak, the longest active streak in the major leagues. Konerko is hitting .460 (23-50) with six doubles, six homer sna d15 RBI in the 13 games.
Our Amateur City Elite (ACE) youth baseball program has been up and running for several years now, and it is one of my personal points of pride. Created to provide baseball opportunities to inner city youth who typically miss out on chances to be seen and scouted by professional scouts and college recruiters, this program is making a difference.
Two White Sox ACE players were selected in the 2011 MLB Draft, six since 2007 and of course several alumni of the annual Double Duty Classic have been drafted since that event started in 2008.
Last week, Jonathon Clark of Lee University and Harlan High School (class of 2008), was selected in the 17th round by the New York Mets, while Dontrell Rush, also from Harlan, was taken in the 48th round by the White Sox.
Through the ACE program, the Chicago White Sox offer rising stars in the inner-city baseball community the opportunity to play baseball against other highly competitive groups on a traveling team. ACE team member youth, 13-18 years of age, are engaged through an elite practice and competition schedule while receiving academic direction to prepare them for success both on and off the field. The ACE program seeks to reverse and correct the downward trend of participation by African-Americans in the sport of baseball, which often occurs because of an overall lack of exposure to college recruiters and professional scouts.
“When we started our inner city youth baseball initiatives, specifically the ACE program, my feeling was as long as we develop players academically and athletically, and give them proper coaching, coaches and scouts will have interest in them,” said White Sox crosschecking scout Nathan Durst. “The recent drafts show that the program is gaining traction and it is exciting to see these young men get opportunities they might not have received in years past.”
With the selection of Clark and Rush, there have been a total of six White Sox ACE team members drafted since the program’s inception in 2007. In the 2008 draft, Troy White of Whitney Young was selected in the 48th round and Steve Florence of Simeon was selected in the 50th round. Last year, Kendall Radcliffe of Morgan Park became the first ACE player to sign a professional baseball contract when he was taken in the 25th round to the Texas Rangers. Also drafted in 2010 was Ronzelle Fort of Harlan, who was selected in the 46th round by the White Sox.
Click here to read comments by Ronzelle’s mom to Sun-Times columnist Mary Mitchell.
Kendall Radcliffe’s great uncle is Ted “Double Duty” Radcliff, a Negro League legend. Every summer since 2008, the White Sox host the Double Duty Classic, an event celebrating the history and tradition of Negro League baseball in Chicago and promoting the next generation of inner-city baseball players. The game features the best inner-city high school players from across the country and members of the White Sox ACE Team. Since the game’s inception in 2008, seven non-ACE team Double Duty participants have been drafted, including three players in the 2011 draft.
The 2011 Double Duty Classic will take place on Wednesday, June 29 at 1:05 p.m. at U.S. Cellular Field.