The stars of the month recognized at the 71st annual Salute to the Champions banquet Feb. 21 at the Town and Country Hotel in San Diego included 2014 Chaparral High School graduate John Baron II and former Lake Elsinore Storm outfielder Travis Jankowski.
The San Diego Hall of Champions’ annual banquet honors the previous year’s professional, amateur, and high school stars of the month as well as stars of the year and inductees into the Breitbard Hall of Fame. Baron was named an Amateur Star of the Month for October 2016. Jankowski was a Professional Star of the Month for August 2016.
Baron, who is now San Diego State University’s placekicker, made all eight of his field goal attempts and all 15 of his extra point attempts during October 2016. His four field goals and 16 kicking points in the Aztecs’ 40-13 victory Oct. 28 at Utah State both tied single-game school records, and he also earned the Mountain West Conference’s Special Teams Player of the Week for that game in which his eight kickoffs totaled 508 yard for an average of 63.5 yards with two touchbacks and an average opponent starting position on the 20.3-yard-line.
Jankowski, who spent the entire 2013 season with the Storm and returned for five games in 2014 during a rehabilitation assignment, has played for the San Diego Padres since August 2015. Jankowski batted .308 during August 2016 with an on-base percentage of .375, and he reached base in 24 consecutive games. He stole 11 bases that month including two steals of home, and in the field he had 64 putouts without committing an error.
In 2013 Jankowski led the California League with 71 stolen bases and batted .286 in 122 games for the Storm. Baron was one of six Amateur Star of the Month recipients for October 2016 and Jankowski was one of five Professional Star of the Month honorees for August 2016. A selection committee at the Hall of Champions studies statistics and achievements. In addition to collecting statistics Hall of Champions staff members speak with coaches, and athletic directors in the case of high school athletes, to obtain recommendations. The awards committee reviews the list of recommendations to select the stars of the month.