By Concord Mayor Laura Hoffmeister
The City of Concord is one of the few cities in the area that has Junior Giants, a local nonprofit volunteer organization that provides a great baseball experience for our youth.
Junior Giants is a free, non-competitive, co-ed baseball program, especially for under-served youth. Working together with local agencies, families, and volunteers, Junior Giants reaches into communities and offers youth a chance to learn the basics of baseball during the summer while also discovering the importance of self-esteem and respect.
Junior Giants is more than just baseball. It offers several distinct programs to enrich a player’s experience. Players not only learn baseball techniques and sportsmanship, but also learn the Junior Giants’ Four Bases of Character Development: Confidence, Integrity, Leadership, and Teamwork, as well as the importance of Education, Health, and Violence Prevention.
The organization is managed by a volunteer Board of Directors and sustained by contributions from individuals, businesses and foundations through special partnerships and fundraisers, and of course volunteers.
Concord Junior Giants recently celebrated their 10th anniversary with remarkable success. During the past ten years, Concord Junior Giants have served more than 5,000 children in our area. Former players who started at an early age have now become coaches and volunteers of the league.
This year, two Concord team players were selected as two of the 10 Bay Area recipients of the Harmon & Sur award. This award was for their demonstrated leadership skills, character, academic potential, and involvement in the Junior Giants program. In addition, they each received a $10,000 college scholarship and a personalized Giants jersey.
Ana Villalobos leads Concord Junior Giants as commissioner with the help of many wonderful, dedicated volunteers. This year they received the help and support of more than 56 volunteers, including coaches, assistant coaches, Junior Coaches, and team parents. In 2019 Ana Villalobos was selected for the Junior Giants Hall of Fame and recognized by the SF Giants by throwing the opening pitch at Oracle Park in 2019.
This past season the Concord Junior Giants were able to use the Junior Optimist Baseball Fields (JOBL) located at the Marathon Refinery in north Concord. This opportunity allowed the league to increase the number of teams and players to up to 300.
As Mayor I was also able to recognize and provide special certificates of appreciation on behalf of the City Council to all the volunteers for the amazing service provided to our youth and community.
Concord Junior Giants is always in need of help to prepare fields, coaches, assistant coaches and Junior coaches. Junior Coaches can be high school students with a minimum age of 14. They can also apply the time to their high school required community service hours.
The Concord Junior Giants organization is now working on initial preparations and for the 2024 season and would love to count on your involvement and support.
For more information about Concord Junior Giants, to donate, volunteer, or enroll your children to this league, please contact Ana Villalobos at email@example.com. You can also check out their activities on www. facebook.com/concordjrgiants/.