BayBears High School Classic
In 1997, Vigor High School head baseball coach Joe Toomey came to BayBears' President Bill Shanahan with the idea of his team playing a high school baseball game at Hank Aaron Stadium. Bill saw that Joe's passion and commitment for his players warranted the opportunity to play at Hank Aaron Stadium. This led to the creation of the first Hank Aaron High School Baseball Classic.
Then in February 1998, the first ever Classic was played. Only four teams took part in the round-robin tournament --- Vigor, UMS-Wright, Baker and Citronelle --- with UMS winning the inaugural event.
Since then, the Hank Aaron Classic has expanded every year.
This tournament gives high school baseball players a chance to play at a professional baseball stadium. Many of these players may not get the chance to play at the college level let alone make it to the pros. This tournament is to provide memories that they (the players) can pass along to their children and grand-children.
Besides the trophy that is given to the winner of the BayBears Classic, there are four other awards that are given to individuals for their achievements during the tournament. And as of the 2010 tournament, the all-tournament team is named in honor of Bill Menton, a prominent figure in Mobile baseball history.
Jake Peavy MVP Award
This award is named after the San Diego Padres' star pitcher Jake Peavy. The former St. Paul Saint and Mobile BayBear took part in the 1999 edition of the BayBears Classic. This award is given to the MVP of the tournament.
Chris Boyett Silver Slugger Award
The Sliver Slugger Award is named after the Fairhope High School All-American, Chris Boyett, who tragically died in a car accident. The BayBears make a $500 donation to the Chris Boyett Scholarship Fund in the name of the winner of the award each season. Every year, this award is presented to the top offensive player in the BayBears Classic.
Larry Andrews Pitcher Award
The Larry Andrews Pitcher Award is named in memory of the late Baker High School baseball coach, Larry Andrews. This award is presented to the top pitcher in the tournament.
Joe Toomey Coach's Award
This award is named in honor of former Vigor High School baseball coach, Joe Toomey. The Joe Toomey Coach's Award is give to the coach whose team displays excellent teamwork and sportsmanship.
Bill Menton All-Tournament Team
Starting with the 2010 edition of the BayBears High School Classic, the All-Tournament Team --- which consists of at least one player from all 20 teams --- has been renamed for distinguished Mobilian Bill Menton. Menton, a native of Irvington, Ala., was the original voice of the old Mobile Bears.
Hank Aaron High School Baseball Classic Past Winners
|Year||Winning School||Jake Peavy Award Winner||Chris Boyette Silver Slugger||Larry Andrews Pitching Award||Joe Toomey Coach's Award|
|1998||UMS-Wright||Not Available||Not Available||Not Available||Not Available|
|1999||St. Paul's||Not Available||Not Available||Not Available||Not Available|
|2000||Daphne||Not Available||Not Available||Not Available||Not Available|
|2001||Daphne||Neal Castile||Not Available||Not Available||Not Available|
|2002||Daphne||Neal Castile||Bryan Mosley||Not Available||Not Available|
|2003||St. Paul's||Chase Christianson||Bunky Kateon||Not Available||Not Available|
|2004||Daphne||Patrick White||Kit Powell||Not Available||Not Available|
|2005||McGill-Toolen||Nick Clapper||Ryan McCrory & Cory Luckie||Eric Tasler||Not Available|
|2006||Baker||Tyler Minto||Adam Heisler||Tyler Minto||Not Available|
|2007||McGill-Toolen||Glenn Harbin||D.J. Jones||Alex Scammell||Not Available|
|2008||Spanish Fort||Dustin Smitherman||Jacob Nobel||Patrick McGavin||Mike Szymanski (Satsuma)|
|2009||Fairhope||Darryl Norris||Austin Pittman||James Potter||Brian Giles (Murphy)|
|2010||Fairhope||Garrett Pitts||Darryl Norris||Chase Domino||Terry Dixon (Mary G. Montgomery)|
|2011||Fairhope||Evan East (Fairhope)||Toby Thomas (Fairhope)||Hunter Ellenburg (Fairhope)||Bill Glover (Baker)|
|2012||Fairhope||Toby Thomas (Fairhope)||Cody Christian (Satsuma)||Garrett Waters (Theodore)||Kevin Raley (Robertsdale)|
|2013||McGill-Toolen||Andrew Mahoney (McGill-Toolen)||Jae Skoda (Faith Academy)||Nathan Skipper (McGill-Toolen)||Stu Fuller (Fairhope)|