The Junior Giants Hall of Fame honors outstanding past contributions, recognizes current achievements and showcases our leagues, coaches and lead organizers who have helped to build the Junior Giants program over the years.
The individuals inducted into the Hall of Fame have given their time, energy and undying enthusiasm to make the Junior Giants program what it is today.
PHOTO: East Palo Alto Commissioner Ray Askew, San Jose Police Activities Commissioners Walt and Barbara Velasquez, Giants Community Fund Board Chair Craig Alexander and Giants Broadcaster Dave Flemming at the 2013 Play Ball Lunch.
Since 1994, Ray has taken a leadership role in the East Palo Alto Junior Giants program by maintaining and managing the program. Ray has spent countless hours on and off the field making sure the children in his community have a safe environment to play baseball. Ray is well respected in the community and is the epitome what it means to be a grassroots leader. We are proud to honor Ray for his commitment to the children.
Walt & Barbara have been involved with the San Jose PAL league since the program started in 1994, giving both children and adults with special needs in their community the ability to participate in Junior Giants. The success of the Junior Giants program in San Jose is due to the commitment, love and leadership of this dynamic duo. For 20 weekends during the year, and not counting many other weekends preparing for the season, Walt and Barbara are out early in the morning preparing the field and setting up equipment for their eager players. We are so grateful for their commitment to the community for over 20 years.
Eric has been a teacher and administrator at Santa Fe School for the past 25 years. Serving as the Junior Giants Commissioner since the program started at Santa Fe School 13 seasons ago, Eric is an integral component in making sure the Junior Giants Program runs year after year; going beyond the typical model of Junior Giants. After 54 years, Santa Fe School will be closing due to low enrollment. We are proud honor Eric for his love, commitment and long time service to the Junior Giants Program at Santa Fe School.
For over 7 years, Ken has brought his unparalleled enthusiasm and dedication to the Junior Giants program of Sacramento, at two different location sites; this is not just a job for Ken, it is his passion. Not only does Ken embody each aspect of the Junior Giants program, but he is always looking for new ideas to share with the Community Fund staff as well. Ken takes it upon himself to make sure each Junior Giants family has a great experience and spends countless hours to do just that.
Willie McCovey is involved year-round to assist our Junior Giants kids. Each year, Willie McCovey donates his time to attend the annual Junior Giants Willie Mac Luncheon, and generously autographs a personalized bat as an inspiring keepsake for each Willie Mac awardee. Mr. McCovey also dedicates his name and time to the Junior Giants Stretch Drive and the Willie McCovey Golf Classic, which together raised $250,000 in 2010 alone.
Since the inception of the Giants Community Fund, Willie Mays has been involved in supporting our efforts to help underserved children and their families. Mr. Mays provides support from the Say Hey Foundation, signs items for Community Fund auctions, and has given his time to attend the Play Ball Lunch and the Giants Community Fund Golf Classic. In addition, we are proud to say that the Willie Mays Boys and Girls Club is a hub for Junior Giants participants in the Bayview/Hunters Point area.
For nearly a decade, Jeff Hammar has been an instrumental part of the Atwater Junior Giants. Jeff not only teaches the Junior Giants Four Bases of Character Development to his players, but he implements them in every aspect of his own life. As co-commissioner and a coach for 2 teams, Jeff strongly believes in Junior Giants and helps with all portions of the program, such as: sign-ups, the "First Pitch" Orientation Meeting, scheduling teams and assisting coaches. Jeff serves as a role model for the Atwater players, parents and coaches and can be counted on to help the Giants Community Fund whenever needed.
Since 1994, Kathy has been involved with the Junior Giants and has run successful programs in both Red Bluff and Los Molinos. She has consistently gone above her call of duty, doing everything from prepping the fields for play, to providing medals for the kids at the end of the season, to pressing the Character Development lessons.
For the past 16 years Brandon has epitomized what Junior Giants is all about -- he embraces the Four Bases of Character Development and instills them in his coaches and players. He is an invaluable asset to both his community and the Junior Giants Program.
Larry, founder of the Good Tidings Foundation, is truly one of the Giants Community Fund's most resourceful community partners. For more than a decade, the Fund has worked with Larry to renovate Junior Giants fields throughout Northern and Central California. He and his family give an incredible amount of time to help the Fund build safe places for Junior Giants to play.
A founding Junior Giants Commissioner since 1994, Gene managed the program in East Palo Alto and now is the Commissioner of the Las Vegas league. Gene's homegrown spirit has linked him to the hearts of kids and families in both regions and he serves as a wonderful advocate for young people.
Commissioners of the San Bruno Junior Giants since 1995, Bob and Lorry were instrumental in strengthening the program and promoting its message. In the wake of Bob's passing in late 2006, Lorry continued in their mutual devotion to the development of young people through baseball. They serve as a tremendous example of the Junior Giants mission.
Rick was a Giants Community Fund board member for 10 years, many of which were spent as Chairman. He continues to give an incredible amount of time as Chairman Emeritus, and the Fund is grateful for the many resources he and his family provide personally, as well as through their Compadres Restaurants.
Since 1993, the Giants ownership group has set the pace for the front office, and the team itself, through a strong emphasis placed on community outreach. This prioritization has allowed for great creativity in the formative years of the award-winning Junior Giants program.
Ron, together with the California Police Activities League, helped to lay the groundwork for the launch of the original Junior Giants leagues back in 1994. He continues to be a very active part of our Junior Giants and Violence Prevention committees.
Michael is a nationally-known youth advocate and comedian. Among his many commitments, he serves on the Fund's Advisory Board. A willing and compelling speaker at our Junior Giants events, he inspires kids and coaches alike to continue in their dedication to creating stronger and safer communities.