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The Big 26 Baseball Classic is committed to encouraging the highest levels of sportsmanship and excellence in high school baseball, and - through its Buddy Program - to offering a welcoming environment for athletic participation for children, teens, and young adults with special needs. 


The Big 26 Baseball Classic® is an annual summer featuring high school players entering their junior and senior years. Pennsylvania is the host team, with Maryland as its playing partner since the series originated in 2012. Rosters are built through a tryout process each spring. The event is designed to mimic a typical minor league baseball series, with the teams housing, eating, and traveling to the venue together during a 3-game stretch. 


College coaches are invited to all player activities including tryouts, final roster combine, and the 3-game series. Between 30 and 40 schools check in over the course of the event.  


The event features a Buddy Program, where individuals ages 5 - 21 with special needs are connected with Big 26 players for various activities throughout the event. Relationships forged through the Buddy Program are often carried beyond the Big 26. 


The Big 26 Baseball Classic® is owned and operated by the Hershey Harrisburg Sports & Events Authority (HHSE), a division of Visit Hershey & Harrisburg (501c6 non-profit). The event was founded in 2012 by the former Big 33 Foundation, and acquired by HHSE in 2017. 


“It's awesome. It's the best experience I've ever had in baseball. We get to use the [Senators] clubhouse, which is insane. That fans come out. It's a great scene and a great place to play.”


—  Cedar Cliff OF Julian Bury to PennLive 2014

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