Harwood Heights’ Jack Ryan prepares for national baseball showcase – Chicago Tribune

Playing baseball at the national level as both a 12- and 13-year-old has opened Jack Ryan’s eyes.

“I’ve learned that you have to be a lot more focused. It takes a lot to stay focused on every pitch but it’s important,” he said. “Self-confidence is also very important, and playing at that level has made me realize what I actually can do.”

One year after playing for USA Baseball’s 12U National Team that won a gold medal at the World Cup in Taiwan, the Harwood Heights resident has been invited to play in the 2016 Ripken Futures Game in Aberdeen, Md.

The 24-player roster was selected by a committee that includes personnel from Ripken Baseball and USA Baseball. The game will be broadcast live on MLB.com at 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 6, and Bill Ripken, the former Major League Baseball player and younger brother of Cal Ripken Jr., will provide commentary.