Nearly 9 year-old Seth Smith and Junior Giants coach Steve Bryan were recently selected as the Mount Shasta league’s picks for the annual Willie Mac Award.

Nearly 9 year-old Seth Smith and Junior Giants coach Steve Bryan were recently selected as the Mount Shasta league’s picks for the annual Willie Mac Award.

Both Smith and Bryan will be honored at a home plate ceremony at the San Francisco Giants’ AT&T Park in San Francisco.

They were selected for the for exemplifying the Junior Giants “four bases of character development,” including confidence, integrity, leadership and teamwork, said Mount Shasta Junior Giants Commissioner Mike Rodriguez.

Smith’s big day is this Sunday, Aug. 12. It’s also his 9th birthday, said his mom, Bridget.

Smith said he is “nervous and excited” to be recognized at AT&T Park. His favorite Giant is Hunter Pence.

Smith is an avid baseball player, said Rodriguez. He and his father, Jimmy, go to the batting cages “nearly every day” and hit thousands of balls to sharpen his skills, although the Junior Giants program is for any player, advanced or beginner, Rodriguez pointed out.

Bryan has been a Junior Giants coach for four years and has helped the organization branch out to other Siskiyou County communities, said Rodriguez. After all, the program is meant to be for all Siskiyou County youngsters.

Named in honor of Giants Hall of Famer Willie McCovey, the Willie Mac Award is the Junior Giants version of the annual award given to a Giants player by his teammates. The Junior Giants Willie Mac Award goes to one outstanding Junior Giants player and coach/team parent that best represents their league, as chosen by their league commissioner.

Bryan said he’s honored and “blown away” to receive recognition. His day at AT&T will be next month, when they celebrate Coaches Recognition Day, said Rodriguez.

“I do it for the kids and for the community,” said Bryan.

On June 21, Bryan and some of his team members traveled to San Francisco to participate in Buster Posey’s Glove Giveaway, where he gifted hundreds of mitts to young baseball players who might not have the means to purchase one themselves.

Bryan said out of hundreds of other teams, his was selected to sit in one of the front rows and got to meet Posey, the Giants’ All Star and Gold Glove catcher.

On Sunday, Rodriguez said Smith will be joined by 48 other Junior Giants players and their families. They’ll get to do a parade around the field and enjoy free seats at AT&T on Junior Giants Day, when the Giants face the Pittsburgh Pirates at 1:05 p.m.

Entering its 25th year, Junior Giants is a free, noncompetitive and coed baseball and softball program, according to the organization’s website. More than 24,000 youth across California, Nevada and Oregon participate annually. The program offers equipment, uniforms, program incentives and coaches training.