by KATHY LOY | photos by Spark Photography

The saying goes that some people are born with a silver spoon in their mouth, but Rancho Bernardo High School (RBHS) senior Parker Bugg may have been born with a baseball in his hand instead. As a baby, the first word Parker said was “ball.” He started playing baseball at age four, and began travel baseball by age eight. “My journey from t-ball to where I am today stems from my love of playing baseball, competing and having my dad throw me batting practice and ground balls until it would get too dark,” explained Parker.

All that baseball as a young boy has paid off. Parker was selected as one of the premiere high school baseball players in the country to participate in the National Area Code Games tournament and is a two-time Under Armour® Pre-Season All American. Parker doesn’t take his success for granted though. “I am very self-motivated and realize how blessed I am to have the opportunities I’ve had,” said Parker. “My parents have always told me that the harder I work, the luckier I will be, which has motivated me to work hard throughout the years.”

Spark_28_leader_-_Parker_104One event that had a major impact on Parker and spurred him into action was the 2010 abduction and murder of Chelsea King, a fellow RBHS student. Although he didn’t know Chelsea personally, Parker decided to start a fundraising effort called “Strikeout Sex Offenders.” All the money raised will be donated to the Chelsea’s Light Foundation which awards academic scholarships and also supports the efforts to implement tighter restrictions on criminals who prey on children. The “Strike Out Sex Offenders” program seeks $1 for each strikeout Parker makes. Already, over $5,000 has been donated. Although he suffered a foot injury that will likely keep him from finishing his final season on the mound at RBHS, Parker hopes that donations will continue to come in. “My hope is that next season other players or teams throughout the county take my idea and make it a yearly event in competition among high school teams in San Diego,” described Parker.

Parker was recently drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 34th round of the 2013 Major League Baseball draft. “Parker is really excited to have been drafted…every little kid’s dream,” shared Parker’s dad, Steve Bugg. As Parker enters his next venture, he will still keep an eye on what he’s started back home and will look for other change-makers to follow suit.

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Name: Parker Bugg
Age: 18
School: Rancho Bernardo High School, Class of 2013
Family: Steven, Betty Ann, Taylor
Drafted by: Baltimore Orioles in the 34th round of the 2013 Major League Baseball draft.

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