The objective of the Player Support Committee is to assist the JetHawks players during their stay in the Antelope Valley as a member of the JetHawks Professional Baseball Club. The committee is chaired by Judy Lester and divided into two entities: Player Sponsor Program and Household Goods. Judy Lester coordinates both of these.
Sponsor Program – The Sponsor Program provides each player with a Booster Club family (if the player elects to have a sponsor). The sponsor assignment process starts in early March of each season with the identification of sponsor families. Once the list of potential sponsors has been solidified we wait for team arrival to identify the team members (usually the day they arrive in Lancaster). Each player is contacted to determine if they desire a sponsor. If the player elects to have a sponsor they are matched to the mutual benefit of each party. There are a several criteria used to match players and sponsor families. The first is if a player is a returning player the sponsor from the previous season has first option on the returning player. Second, some players do not speak fluent English, in these cases every attempt is made to match the player with a sponsor who can communicate in the player’s language.
The sponsor assignment process is time consuming but is usually completed within two weeks of player arrival. The assignment process is shorter for players who arrive during the season. Player/sponsor compatibility is the most important consideration for assignment. A potential sponsor may request a specific player and the request will be considered when making the match. Some players are requested by several members and in these cases all available sponsor/player data is reviewed to make the assignment. A member’s position in the Booster Club is not a consideration for sponsor placement.
An important aspect of the Player Sponsor program is that the player can ask to have a new or no sponsor at any point during the season without prejudice. Occasionally, a player / sponsor are not a good match. If the player desires a new sponsor the committee chair goes to the waiting list to obtain a new sponsor. The previous sponsor then goes back on the waiting list, if they desire to continue in the sponsor program. The chairperson asks that members who wish to be sponsors do not contact the players personally but rather contact the chairperson with their desire to be a sponsor to a particular player.