FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, November 11, 2011
CHICAGO – The Chicago White Sox hosted a signing day ceremony where five members of the White Sox ACE Team officially signed their letters of intent to play baseball at the Division I collegiate level. All five of the players will receive athletic aid at the universities of their choice, and White Sox general manager Ken Williams was on-hand to congratulate the young athletes.
Devin Pickett of Marian Catholic and Black Hickman of Simeon both signed to play baseball at the University of Iowa. Pickett is a 6’2”/185 lbs. infielder with excellent bat speed and arm strength. Pickett is a 6’5”/205 lbs. catcher with outstanding arm strength and catching actions. He was a 2011 IHSA 4A All-State selection, two-time USA Baseball Breakthrough Series selection and widely regarded by professional scouts as one of the top catching prospects in the Midwest.
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 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.
It is the belief of the White Sox that baseball should represent a viable option by which disadvantaged youths can attain a college education and potentially even a professional baseball career.
All five of these players have participated in the White Sox ACE program for at least two years, and all have played in the Double Duty Classic, an event hosted by the White Sox which celebrates the history and tradition of Negro League baseball in Chicago and promoting the next generation of inner-city baseball players.
Editor’s Note: Attached are two photos from last night’s signing ceremony. Pickett is on the left in the grey cap and Hickman is on the right in the black cap. For more information, contact Marty Maloney in the White Sox public relations department at (312) 674-5357.
-30-© 2011 Chicago White Sox