Cub Scouts tour Suns’ home, yearn to play in the Minors

There was no ball game, no peanuts and no Cracker Jacks®, but there was a small crowd of youngsters cheering at the behind-the-scenes tour they took of the Jacksonville Suns’ baseball facility last month.

The tour, which included visits to the dugout, batting cages, weight room and press box, was a big hit with Pack 106 Cub Scouts from Assumption Catholic School.
The children, many of whom play baseball in neighborhood leagues, were excited to learn details about player salaries, players who have been promoted to the Major Leagues, and how during games the dugout is stocked with sunflower seeds and Double Bubble Bubblegum.

Jonathan Rogero, a six-year-old boy who plays baseball in Hendricks Avenue Baptist’s baseball league, said while he wants to be a scientist when he grows up, he would love to play for the Jacksonville Suns someday. “It was so awesome,” he said of the tour.
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His dad, Mike Rogero, who played high school baseball at Bishop Kenny agreed.  “I really liked the tour. It’s neat to see the facilities and learn about the operations,” Rogero said. “I think it’s a great way to get the kids excited about playing.”

Jerry Whitley, a St. Nicholas resident who has four boys, three of whom play in San Jose Athletic Association’s baseball league, thought it was neat for his boys to learn the players’ routine on game day, where they practice and how they train.

“Having four boys, I spend a lot of time practicing and playing baseball,” Whitley explained. “All the boys would love to play for a Minor League team someday.”
Delighting in details about America’s favorite pastime keeps Jarrod Simmons, director of community relations for the Jacksonville Suns, busy hosting three to four tours a week. “It’s a lot of fun. The kids get to see a lot of stuff that they don’t get to see during the games,” he said. “They really enjoy it.”

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