Junior Giants Is About More Than Baseball


When asked who his favorite Giants baseball player is, 6-year-old Angelo Duran replies, “myself and Buster Posey.” Giving him the confidence to include himself with the major leaguers is an indication that the Junior Giants baseball program is making an impression on the youngster.

Junior Giants is a free, non-competitive program offered in several communities in the North State, Nevada and Oregon. The San Francisco Giants Community Fund provides uniforms, equipment and training for league leaders, as well as tickets to see the San Francisco Giants in action.

John Kennedy, owner of Sportsmen’s Den in Mount Shasta, has been involved with the Mount Shasta Junior Giants league since 2009, when his son, JT, began playing at age 5.

“I encourage kids already in little league to play, because it’s a great opportunity to improve and play more baseball – and it’s free,” Kennedy says. The program also incorporates reading, healthy eating, and staying active, as well as the “four bases of character development”: confidence, integrity, leadership and teamwork. “Junior Giants teaches skills that are not only beneficial for baseball players, but also as human beings,” Kennedy says.

Angelo’s mom Rosalyn said she likes that the program encourages reading and teamwork, and that it teaches her son to have confidence. “They get to learn morals and have fun at the same time.” As for Angelo, his favorite part of Junior Giants is “batting, running and throwing.”

Fourteen-year-old Lily Hitchcock received the Junior Giants’ Willie Mac Award in 2013 for exemplifying the four bases of character development. She has been involved with the program for five years.

“Junior Giants has taught me how to be respectful towards others and how I should always do my best no matter what the situation is,” says Lily, an all-star softball player who also plays on competitive travel teams in the North State. “No matter how difficult something is, you should always give 100 percent.” She encourages all kids – no matter their skill level – to participate and have a little fun out on the field.

For more information visit the Junior Giants Baseball website at http://www.jrgiants.org or call (800) JR-GIANT. Learn about local programs by contacting the organizations listed below.  

Junior Giants Programs in Upper California

Contact the organizations below to sign up or learn more about local Junior Giants programs. 

  • Chico: Ages 5-13. Chico Area Rec & Park District, 775 E 16th St. (530) 895-2619.
  • Cottonwood: Ages 5-18. Cottonwood Junior Giants, 20902 Second St. (530) 941-0285.
  • Feather River/Oroville: Ages 5-18. Feather River Rec & Park District, 1875 Feather River Blvd. (530) 533-2011.
  • Los Molinos: Ages 5-13. Tehama County PAL, 22840 Antelope Blvd (530) 529-7950.
  • Mt. Shasta: Ages 5-13. Mt. Shasta Rec & Parks District, 1315 Nixon Rd. (530) 926-2494.
  • Rancho Tehama/Corning: Ages 5-18. Tehama County PAL, 7563 Bob Bee Lou Lane. (530) 585-3342.
  • Red Bluff: Ages 5-13. Tehama County PAL – Red Bluff Junior Giants, 29671 Wildcat Rd., Paynes Creek. (530) 433-3382.
  • Redding: Ages 5-13. City of Redding Recreation, 1250 Parkview Ave. (530) 225-4095.
Skye Kinkade
About Skye Kinkade

Skye Kinkade is a fourth generation Siskiyou County resident and mother of four lively children. She enjoys being part of a close-knit community that is so generous and kind in difficult times.

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