GUYTON, Ga. (WSAV) — It was an exciting ‘Welcome Home’ celebration Friday when Houston Astros World Series Champion William Josh Reddick returned to his alma mater.
Reddick, unaware of the surprise, was overwhelmed with the abundance of love and support he received from his hometown community in Guyton.
“My heart was racing walking through the tunnel with the cheerleaders right there. Felt like I was coming out for a football game,” Reddick said.
He remembers the countless nights he spent at South Effingham High School more than 12 years ago, where he was practicing to get where he is today.
“It’s a really good feeling to look around everywhere and say wow. I really am a World Series Champion being able to be from such a small town,” Reddick says.
After graduating from South Effingham, Reddick attended Middle Georgia College. During his time there in 2006, he was in the 17th round of the MLB Draft.
He made his debut for the Boston Red Sox in 2009. Reddick then went to Oakland Athletics (2012-2016), the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2016 and then signed with the Houston Astros in November 2016.
Reddick didn’t know his first year on the Astros would earn him his first World Series Championship.
“I wouldn’t trade it for anything,” Reddick says.
Throughout his career, he has a .264 batting average and 109 home runs.
He also founded the Josh Reddick Foundation which serves as an advocate for the youth of Effingham County.
This non-profit organization uses its funds to refurbish, maintain, and beautify recreational parks in Effingham County. Funds are also distributed to scholarships for South Effingham and Effingham County Graduates.
“I love being from here, where I was born and raised, I just want to give back and help this already great county. Just to improve it maybe improve it a little bit faster if we can,” Reddick said.
His initiative has already begun. This weekend there will be a groundbreaking ceremony for the Josh Reddick Field at the Effingham Recreational Center in Springfield, Ga.