Former Pearl River star Braxton Lee will throw out ceremonial first pitch on Opening Day
POPLARVILLE, Miss. – One of Pearl River's legends is coming back to The Dub.
"I was fortunate to meet Braxton when I took the job here. I remember him as a player. He was one of the best hitters I ever coached against," Avalon said. "He has defied all odds. You don't look at Braxton and think he's the biggest guy in the world, but in the three years I have been here he has been one of the hardest working players I've seen. He's very dedicated to his craft."
Former Pearl River outfielder, who made his MLB debut last season with the Miami Marlins, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch at PRCC’s season opener Feb. 10. (PRCC ATHLETICS)
The Picayune product starred at nearby PRCC in 2012 and '13 before going on to have a standout career at Ole Miss. A 12th-round draft selection by the Tampa Bay Rays in 2014, Lee worked his way through the minor leagues and made his Major League debut last season with the Miami Marlins.
Although he makes his off season home in Long Beach now, Lee still frequents The Dub in the off season to stay in shape.
"I love when he's around because he sets such a good example of a blue collar junior college product," Avalon said. "Having a guy like that come to practice every day and work is something invaluable for the guys to see.
"He's just a great person and player."
Lee, who is now with the New York Mets' organization, was working out at The Dub on Wednesday when Avalon informed him of the honor.
"I think it's cool. I love this place a lot. It definitely means a lot. Coach Avie wasn't my coach but for him to recognize I played here and all the things I've done, it definitely means a lot," Lee said. "I tell everybody everywhere I go that junior college was my most fun experience of my baseball career and probably my life so far."
It's not a stretch to say being a Wildcat runs in the Lee family. Lee's father, Russell, played basketball at PRCC and his middle brother, Peyton, recently graduated and is playing baseball at Southeastern Louisiana. His youngest brother, Trenton, is a sophomore on the team.
"It's in our blood," Lee said.
Added Avalon: "The tradition of the Lee family here is strong. They're part of the Pearl River family."
FIRST PITCH DINNER
Prior to Opening Day, PRCC is hosting its 3rd Annual First-Pitch Dinner on Feb. 9. PRCC alumnus and motivational speaker Kendale Lumpkins is the guest speaker. Tickets are $30 for adults and $15 for children. To reserve your spot, call or email Coach Michael Avalon at 601-497-4300 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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