On Oct. 29, approximately 700 boys and girls in Southern California were given an unforgettable opportunity as Bank of America and the Angels Baseball Foundation hosted the 11th annual Bank of America “Challenger Classic” at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. As part of the event, members of 40 different Little League Challenger Division® teams, comprised of Southern California youngsters and young adults with physical and mental challenges, participated in two-inning, one-hour games on designated diamonds throughout the outfield in the home stadium of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
The Bank of America Challenger Classic started 11 years ago by Dr. Darrell J. Burnett, retired ADA of the California District 55 and California District 68 Challenger Programs. Dr. Burnett recently ended his nine-year term as a member of the Little League® International Board of Directors.
Throughout the games, former Angels baseball players joined together with volunteers from Little League and Bank of America to make sure the experience is a day to remember for all of those involved. Festivities throughout the day included live videos of the games on the stadium’s Jumbotron, team photo opportunities with members of the Angels, carnival-style games and prizes, a special award ceremony near home plate, and an opportunity to dress up in their costumes after the games and go “trick-or-treating” at stations set up around the stadium.
For some participants, such as Jacob Wand and his mother Cindy Wand from California District 55, the Bank of America Challenger Classic is an event that they look forward to each year and will continue to come out and enjoy the incredible opportunity.