SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Padres, in partnership with the Masons of California, announced the expansion of the Johnny Ritchey Scholarship Program on what would have been Ritchey’s 100th birthday.
The program allows deserving and often underserved high school seniors in San Diego County to have a better chance at attending college.
"In the spirit of Ritchey and his role as the “Jackie Robinson of the West Coast,” the two organizations, along with Reality Changers of San Diego, have teamed up to expand the program to up to ten $10,000 scholarships ($2,500 annually over four years) designed for students that have encountered and, more importantly, have overcome significant personal adversities in his/her life and have used these challenges to strengthen themselves in their pursuit of higher education," the Padres said in a press release.
John Franklin Ritchey was a baseball player for the Chicago Giants in 1947 and attended San Diego High School in his younger days.
Ritchey was recognized as one of the first African American men to play Minor League Baseball in the twentieth century before he died at age 80 in 2003.
“Honoring the achievements of Johnny Ritchey by rewarding young people who have demonstrated grit, determination and courage are what this scholarship is all about,” said Doug Ismail, President of the California Masonic Foundation.
Applications for the scholarship were said to be accepted until Feb. 28, by 4 p.m. PST.
All chosen recipients will attend an on-field pregame ceremony at Petco Park on April 17, announcing their selection.
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