ATLANTA — The Atlanta Braves’ World Series run is not just good for the team and businesses, but also for young athletes who want to play baseball.
With every crack of the bat, Atlanta native Termarr Johnson, 17, is closer to getting a crack at the big leagues.
“More than just getting drafted or being a big leaguer, I just want to be one of the best to ever play,” Johnson said.
Johnson, a senior at Mays High School, is considered the best hitter in high school anywhere, and he does it with a 4.3 grade point average.
“He’s a very astute kid. Head on tight. Good parents,” Johnson’s brother, Trevont Johnson, said.
“Termarr’s a superstar in his own right,” said Rendell Jackson with Atlanta Public Schools.
“He makes the other kids around him better,” said Carl Nichols, Termarr Johnson’s hitting coach.
People will be talking about him for decades, but right now, he loves talking about the Braves. Watching them and rooting for them is helping him be a better teammate.
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“I feel like just having a lot of things (happen) to them (or that they’ve) just overcome, like Ronald Acuna. And just guys like that getting hurt. I felt like that just made them be a better team and just made them come together,” Termarr Johnson said.
RJ Austin is another top prospect who can hit and pitch when he plays for Pace Academy.
He said he’s been inspired to get better while rooting for what he hopes is a World Series title.
“It comes down to who can work the best together. So I think the Braves have that in the bag,” Austin said.
The Braves’ World Series run has captivated Atlanta.
Johnson’s mother, Kim Harris Johnson, hopes it helps attract more Black students to the sport.
“There are kids and all pockets of America that need help and need exposure to the game to get more minorities into the game,” Harris Johnson said.
More kids are getting a chance to play under the bright lights while they’re still in high school.
The Braves and Atlanta Public Schools have been able to host more high school games at Truist Park.
“We had Maynard Jackson High School, they were able to play Riverwood High School in Truist Park, and things like that actually helped kind of bridge that gap,” Jackson said.
When Alexander Wyche isn’t coaching at Redan High School, he’s spotlighting Black prospects across the country through Minority Baseball Prospects.
“The numbers in college are even less, so know why we use Minority Baseball Prospects to really just touch everybody in the country,” Wyche said.
The possibilities for Termarr Johnson are endless, but one possibility is going pro as a player for the hometown team.
“Hopefully, if I am a Brave, I can, you know, help them win a World Series,” he said.
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