Beeks’ Jersey Drawing Friday
MLB PITCHER WILL PERSONALLY PRESENT JERSEY
PRAIRIE GROVE — Only days remain to participate in the Prairie Grove Dugout Club raffle drawing for a framed Jalen Beeks’ autographed Major League Baseball Tampa Bay Rays jersey No. 68.
Beeks is a 2011 graduate of Prairie Grove High School, who arrived in Major League Baseball taking a path north for one season at Crowder College, in Neosho, Mo., before becoming an Arkansas Razorback. Beeks was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 12th round of the 2014 MLB June Amateur Draft from the University of Arkansas.
Beeks was traded from Boston to Tampa Bay on July 25 for pitcher Nathan Eovaldi. Beeks compiled a 5-1 record in the majors last season, pitching 50.2 innings with a 5.51 earned run average.
“I think from top to bottom that professional pitchers, a lot of them have the same skillsets,” said Prairie Grove baseball coach Chris Mileham, who coached in the minor leagues. “From my experience, the “It factor” that separates those prospects from just being a talented big league pitcher, it’s their makeup, their character, their mental toughness and their competitive spirit. It takes more than just being good. There are a not of good baseball pitchers who never make the big league. It’s all the other things besides throwing a baseball 90 miles-an-hour.”
Raffle tickets are $5 each or six for $20. Tickets have been sold at Prairie Grove home football and basketball games, and can still be purchased from Mileham, Tiger baseball team members or by contacting Michelle Cates at 479-263-6443. Participants don’t have to be present to win.
According to Mileham proceeds from the raffle will be used to help the Tiger program pay for baseballs and other equipment. He said tickets will be sold until 6:45 p.m.
The Jalen Beeks Tampa Bay Rays authentic Major League baseball jersey raffle will be held Friday, Dec. 7, 2018, at halftime of the girls boys basketball game versus West Fork. The boys game will immediately follow the varsity girls game against West Fork which is scheduled for tip-off following a Hall of Pride induction ceremony at 6 p.m.
According to Mileham, arrangements have been made for Beeks to personally draw the winning ticket and present the framed jersey.
“A lot of people would just like to lay eyes on him. Maybe they haven’t seen him since he graduated from high school or played for the Razorbacks,” Mileham said.
“In all my years this is the first time rolling out a community service project of this nature. I didn’t know what to expect, but it’s been awfully gratifying to watch our boys implement the program.”
Chris Mileham Prairie Grove baseball coach
“For him to personally show up, draw the winning ticket and present the prize is great. It gets people excited about some things we’re doing.”
Friday marked the third week of the Prairie Grove Baseball’s Read Initiative with players reading Christmas books to second-graders in the classroom.
“It’s a fantastic experience, the feeling of watching the boys read to the second-graders with them sitting on their laps. They have their undivided attention,” Mileham said. “In all my years this is the first time rolling out a community service project of this nature. I didn’t know what to expect, but it’s been awfully gratifying to watch our boys implement the program.”
Jalen Beeks, shown handling the ball against Pea Ridge on Color’s Day, Jan. 28, 2011, of his senior high school season, displayed a tenacity at starting point-guard that many Tiger basketball fans still talk about. Beeks pitched for the University of Arkansas, was drafted in the 12th round of the 2014 major league baseball draft by the Boston Red Sox, and traded to the Tampa Bay Rays in July. Beeks compiled a 5-1 record as a Major League Baseball pitcher in 2018. He returns to Prairie Grove Friday to present his framed, autographed Tampa Bay Rays’ No. 68 jersey to the winner of a raffle for Tiger baseball during halftime of the girls basketball game against West Fork following a Hall of Pride induction ceremony at 6 p.m.