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Mom & Dad proud after Severna Park’s Jackson Merrill earns MLB All-Star nod

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Posted at 8:09 PM, Jul 09, 2024

SAN DIEGO — A few years ago, he was crushing extra-base hits at Severna Park High School. But this week, San Diego Padres centerfielder Jackson Merrill is a Major League All-Star.

WMAR-2 News spoke with mom, Jennie, and dad, Joshua, as they joined Jackson in San Diego. The two will also join Jackson in Arlington, TX, for the All-Star Game next week.

"It's been fantastic," Jennie told WMAR. "Pretty proud parents here."

Since Jackson's call-up to the Majors a few months ago, the Merrills have gone all over the country to see Jackson play.

It wasn't too long ago that Jackson played at Severna Park High School; in just three years, he's traded in his Falcons hat for a Padres hat.

Joshua and Jennie are no strangers to the cost of playing sports. That's why they set up 'Merrill Madness,' a charity which sells merchandise and donates proceeds to help families afford to play ball.

"That money doesn't go to us. It actually goes to parents we find that need help with travel ball. And so we try to find a single mom that needs help, or maybe someone that needs to go to the World Series, is fundraising," Jennie explained.

RELATED: Merrill Memories: 'That's my baby boy out there'

"It's based on what we had to go through ourselves, you know, making sure we had enough money to provide Jackson, to try to fulfill his dream," Joshua said.

Jackson is coming home soon; the Padres will be in Baltimore to play the Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on July 26; mom and dad expect a big turnout.

"We have so many people that are going to be coming. We know at least over 500 people are going to be at those Camden Yard games. It's incredible," said Jennie.

Jackson was NL Rookie of the Month in June, and now, with 12 home runs and a .288 average, he is a MLB All-Star.

WMAR asked Joshua and Jennie if they had a message for the folks back home:

"We appreciate all the support they've been giving Jackson since he's been drafted and now since he's up," Joshua said. "A lot of love and support has been poured and a lot of interest - and our hope is this really promotes interest in a lot of kids in baseball, really promotes for them to have a love in the game."