Don’t miss this game to be televised on July 22.
As the only freshman on last year’s baseball team at Louisa County High School, Jake Talley knows what it’s like to play against the best competition possible. On Monday, July 22, Talley will again get the chance to play with some of the best baseball players in the country.
Talley was one of 64 players selected to participate in the Triple Crown U.S Baseball Championship All-Star game, which will be broadcast live on CBS Sports that night at 6:30 p.m.
Each of the 33 teams from 21 different states in the Triple Crown U16 tournament will have at least one player to represent them in the North vs. South All-Star game. Talley, who currently plays for the Old School Outlaws of Barboursville, was nominated by his peers to represent the team.
“It was really exciting,” Talley said about getting the call that he had been selected. “I was really surprised. I didn’t expect to make it, but I’m really happy about it!”
Each team in the league was required to submit four names to Triple Crown Sports headquarters, the organization running the tournament. Outlaws coach Chris Haney put the vote into the hands of the players, and Talley was one of four names submitted. Talley’s father, Jerry, said the e-mail he received to notify him that his son had been selected was almost too good to be true.
“A lot of times you get these crazy e-mails and spam, but my son called me and said, ‘Dad, you’re not going to believe this,’’ Jerry Talley said. “We’re definitely going to get some hitting in on Saturday and Sunday!”
Talley has gotten valuable experience in the year he has played for the U16 Old School Outlaws team. The Outlaws are coached by the father and son combination of Larry and Chris Haney. Larry Haney played for four major league teams during his 12-year career, and was a coach for the Milwaukee Brewers for 13 years. His son, Chris Haney, played for five teams during his 11-year career.
“Jake is certainly one of our three or four better players,” Chris Haney said. “As a coach, he plays the game the way you want to see it played. He leads by example. He’s definitely driven; he’s hard on himself. He expects to perform at a high level and does whatever he needs to do to get there.”
Jerry Talley said working hard is nothing new for his son. He recalled a 2006 trip made to Cooperstown with a travel team he coached as one of the moments where he realized his son’s potential.
“My oldest son, Jarrett, was on the team, so Jake went as our bat boy and we got him in a few games and let him play,” Talley said. “Jake was an eight-year-old playing against 12-year-olds. From the time he started playing with my oldest son and his teammates, he jumped right in there. He wants to be a part of all of it. He’s always played with the older kids.”
“That definitely helped a lot,” Jake Talley said. “Ever since I was little, I’ve been playing with older people. It’s matured me a lot more to play against older people.”
Talley said that while he is a little nervous of the upcoming All-Star game, he said he is excited for the experience it will provide him and is looking forward to the impact it will have on his overall development.
“I think playing this game will get me back up to speed to play varsity ball,” Talley said. “It’ll be great exposure for colleges later.”
The All-Star game will be played in Richmond, and Talley is hoping a few friends and family members can tag along to the nearby event.
“I’m really glad it’s in Richmond,” Talley said. “I’m getting a decent amount of friends to come, and I’m trying to get a lot of friends and family who aren’t coming to the game to watch it on television.”
As for preparing to play against some of the best talent the country has to offer, Talley said he expects it to just be another day at the park.
“It’s still baseball,” Talley said. “I’ve been playing it for a while, so it’s second nature to me.”