ABOUT BIG 26 BASEBALL
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 a three-game series and scouting event 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 pro and minor league baseball series, with the teams housing, eating and traveling to the venue together during a 3-game stretch.
College coaches and pro scouts are invited to each tryout, as well as an official scout session of the final rosters and all games. In 2017, more than 30 coaches checked in with us over the course of the event.
The event also features a Buddy Program and Challenger Game, where athletes are paired with individuals ages 5 - 21 who have a physical or intellectual disability. Players and buddies participate in a modified game at FNB Field, and buddies are also introduced during each pre-game ceremony. We are proud that most players call the buddy program one of the most influential experiences of their lives. For information about the Buddy Program and Challenger Game, click HERE.
Youth League Ticket Program: New in 2019, Big 26 is encouraging area youth leagues to enroll (free of charge) in a program that sends a portion of game ticketing revenue back to their league. This effort is to make a positive impact on youth baseball, and to encourage young fans to come out to the ballpark to cheer on these talented young players (and buddies!)
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. Read the full release.
“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