Crosland competes in Hank Aaron Invitational

Published 10:48 pm Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Nansemond-Suffolk Academy baseball standout Jordan Crosland competed in the Hank Aaron Invitational last week.

In an invite-only event, Crosland, an NSA standout, traveled to Vero Beach, Fla., to compete in the five-day event. About 250 players ages 13-18 were invited from across the country and were able to receive elite-level training from Major League players and coaches.

Crosland was excited about the opportunity he got to compete and train with people with MLB experience.

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The Hank Aaron Invitational was created and developed by the MLB and Major League Baseball Players Association Youth Development Foundation, which is a joint initiative by MLB and MLBPA to support efforts that focus on improving the caliber, effectiveness and availability of amateur baseball and softball programs across the United States and internationally. He was able to meet Hall of Fame players like Ken Griffey Jr. and Hank Aaron himself.

“I am really blessed and honored to have been a part of something like that,” Crosland said. “To be coached and trained by ex-MLB players and to have an opportunity to meet new people from around the country was great. It was just great to learn from Hall of Famers through their wisdom.”

Crosland went down with the mindset to learn as much as he could. He wanted to be able to enhance his skills on and off the baseball field. The environment at Hank Aaron Invitational was that of spring training in the MLB.

“It was just great to have this opportunity, honestly,” Crosland said. “You get to play against top competition. I just want to continue to work on the information that I learned and just keep working even harder on my weaknesses.”

Crosland also feels this event has helped him build confidence going into his next season at NSA. Last season, he had 11 hits and 14 runs for the Saints. He also pitched a little and stole some bases. But with the experience he got playing with other players who may be potential MLB draft picks, he feels good about what that will do for his game in the future.

“Because you get to see the top competition out there, it really does help you,” Crosland said. “You see future draft picks, and that motivates me because you want to be there one day.”

With school starting soon and preparation gets under way for another season, Crosland is grateful for his mother for everything she has done to help him to this point.