Texas Rangers Hall of Famer Jim Sundberg will headline the third Annual FCA Impact Scholarship Awards that hands out $22,000 in scholarship funds to area athletes.
Sundberg is a six time America League Gold Glove Winner and the 1985 World Series Champion. He is scheduled to speak during the Permian Basin FCA event that recognizes graduating senior athletes, coaches and FCA volunteers who have impacted the Permian Basin.
The $22,000 in scholarship awards will go to 16 male and female athletes including two who will be named male and female impact players of the year during the 7 p.m. Wednesday event at the Wagner Noël Performing Arts Center.
FCA officials said the group is a valuable part of the Permian Basin because of its unique purpose, which is to lead every coach and athlete into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ.
Kaitlin Belcher, executive administrative assistant for the FCA, stated in an email that athletes spend a large part of their high school careers on a field, court or diamond honing their skills. “Sports can form a person in a unique way, FCA wants to reach those athletes while they practice and play, and while their coaches are able to have a significant influence on them. By giving coaches and athletes the opportunity to talk about their faith, FCA is able to foster that mentor/mentee relationship that is more than just sport, it’s about the overall character of the athlete and their faith.”
Belcher said Sundberg, who is a former Texas Ranger catcher, is still hailed to this day as a top defensive player in major league baseball. “He carried his faith to every game, playing for the Kansas City Royals and helping the club take home the 1985 World Series,” Belcher’s email detailed.
During his 35 year career with major league baseball he led the American League record for most games caught in a season with 155 games, his record still stands. He is in the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame and has won six consecutive Gold Gloves.
Sundberg was on the executive team of the Texas Rangers as senior executive vice president where he worked closely with Nolan Ryan.
Throughout his career he cared for his wife of 43 years and family, and maintained his faith. He is now the chairman of the board for FCA Dallas. “We are certain he will live up to his notoriety as a great speaker of his life in sports and his faith.”
Belcher said this event celebrates the community’s top athletes and celebrates their accomplishments. “So that they will be encouraged to continue the life and character they have led thus far as they move off and begin college.”
Athletes are nominated by either a coach or mentor from the community, likely a pastor. They are then required to have a recommendation completed from a teacher or mentor. Athletes receive a $1,000 scholarship to be sent to the college or university of their choosing. The Impact Male Player of the Year and Impact Female Player of the Year receive $2,500.
- What: Annual FCA Impact Scholarship Awards.
- When: 7 p.m. Wednesday.
- Where: Wagner Noël Performing Arts Center.
- Tickets: permianbasinfca.org/impact-awards