The annual Bobby Bragan Gala is set for Nov. 5 at the Fort Worth Club. The event is the primary fundraising effort of the Bobby Bragan Youth Foundation (BBYF). This year it will honor infielder Josh Jung of Texas Tech, winner of the Bobby Bragan Collegiate Slugger Award (BBCSA), also a first-round draft pick of the Texas Rangers.
Beginning in 1991 with the participation of New York Yankees Hall of Famer Joe DiMaggio as the honoree, the BBYF has honored some of the biggest names in sports and philanthropy.
“I am humbled and honored to be selected as the Bobby Bragan Collegiate Slugger Award recipient for 2019,” Jung said. “I am proud to be recognized as a student-athlete and would like to congratulate the other finalists, who were equally deserving. The award is special because it rewards not only the athlete, but includes high academic standards and personal integrity. Thank you for the recognition. I will uphold the morals, values, and ethics that are expected with this prestigious honor.”
The BBCSA, created by the Bobby Bragan Youth Foundation, was open to nominations from all Division I baseball programs in Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico and Oklahoma. The award is based on performance at the plate, academics and personal integrity.
“Josh is a very talented player, but even a better person,” Texas Tech head coach Tim Tadlock said. “He’s remarkable in that he has a hunger and a passion to be great at whatever he takes on.”
Jung, a junior from San Antonio, Texas, was the eighth overall selection in this year’s Major League Baseball Draft by the Rangers. He helped lead the Red Raiders to the College World Series and was the Co-Player of the Year in the Big 12 leading Texas Tech to the regular season championship. Jung boasts a 3.83 GPA as a Communications Study major and was named to the 2019 Academic All-Big 12 first team.
Jung signed a $4.4 million contract with the Rangers. He then hit a home run in his very first professional at-bat in Arizona. Currently, he is playing for the Hickory Crawdads in the South Atlantic league. At the time of this article, he was batting .316 in his minor league career with two home runs and 28 RBI. In fact, 17 of his 55 hits have been for extra bases.
“Josh had a great season at the plate but his work in the classroom and in the community stands out as well,” BBYF Executive Director Tracy Taylor said. “The selection committee had a very difficult task this year with the expansion of the award to 43 Division 1 programs across five states.”
This year the BBYF surpassed $2 million in college scholarships awarded to Dallas/Fort Worth area eighth-graders. Jung is the first student-athlete to have been named a finalist for the BBCSA two years in a row.
Texas Tech’s Hunter Hargrove won the initial BBCSA in 2017 while Dallas Baptist’s Devlin Granberg took home the honor in 2018.
The BBYF is celebrating 28 years of awarding the promise of a $2,500 college scholarship to outstanding students from 22 independent school districts across the metroplex. BBYF chooses to recognize outstanding students – not as high school seniors – but when they are in the eighth grade, just prior to their entrance into high school, at a critical point in their academic careers.
By focusing attention on the availability of aid for merit at the middle school
level the foundation hopes to inspire students to plan for higher education, dedicate themselves to work hard to reach that goal, and push them to seek additional aid at an earlier stage in their lives. The success of the BBYF scholarship program is proven by the fact that more than 98 percent of scholarship recipients have graduated from high
school and gone on to college, and that a minimum of 20 percent of its recipients are first-generation college attendees.
Tickets and sponsorships are available now for the event. To reserve your table, visit
the BBYF website at www.BobbyBragan.org. Tickets are $250.