The DeSoto County Board of Supervisors has followed an earlier move by the City of Southaven and will jointly declare Friday, Dec. 10 as “Austin Riley Day” in the city and county.
The day will recognize Riley, a key part of the recent Atlanta Braves World Series Championship team as its starting third baseman.
Riley, a product of DeSoto Central High School where he played on a MHSAA 6A state championship baseball team, was drafted out of high school by the Braves organization. He worked his way through the minor league system until being called up to Atlanta in May 2019.
Here is the text of the resolution approved by the Board of Supervisors during its meeting on Monday, Dec. 6.
Resolution to Honor Austin Riley
The DeSoto County Board of Supervisors is proud to honor Austin Riley who has become a household name in DeSoto County. Austin is the son of Mike and Elisa Riley and grew up living in DeSoto County. He began his baseball career on the t-ball fields at Snowden Grove.
As a DeSoto Central Jaguar, Austin Riley excelled at baseball as a third baseman, pitcher and shortstop. Austin was an integral part of the DeSoto Central team that brought home the MHSAA 6A State championship in 2015. Among his contributions as a Jaguar, Austin was named a MS All-State player from 2013 to 2015, MS Gatorade Player of the Year, MS Coaches Association 6A Player of the Year, Commercial Appeal Best of Preps Player of the Year, Perfect Game All American, Louisville Slugger All American, and UnderArmour All American. Austin was a respected baseball player, student and friend to many; including his high school sweetheart, Anna, whom he married in 2018.
Austin Riley had committed to play baseball as a Mississippi State University Bulldog, but the MLB came calling. Right after his high school graduation from DeSoto Central High School, Austin was drafted in the first round, as the 41st pick, by the Atlanta Braves. He was recognized with many awards while playing in the minors such as Rookie All Star, Fan Favorite, and he was a MiLB All Star for 4 years. Little did this young man know in 2015, upon his graduation, how his life would change and he would return to DeSoto County as a hometown hero in 2021 after helping the Atlanta Braves win a World Series title.
Austin Riley took the Atlanta Braves by storm in May 2019 with a homerun in his second at bat and seven home runs by his fourteenth game. It is no surprise that he was honored with the National League Rookie of the Month award after his impressive Major League debut. Austin had his best season in 2021 as a 24-year old in his third year with the Braves as he batted an impressive .303 with 33 home runs and 107 RBIs as the cleanup batter in the lineup. Austin’s performance as a third baseman in the World Series was outstanding with some key plays that cinched the Series title for the Braves; and his efforts were noted as he finished seventh in the voting for the National League MVP Award.
The DeSoto County Board of Supervisors is proud of much more than Austin’s right to wear that highly sought after World Series ring. The Board is most proud that, those closest to Austin say he still wears the qualities that are most important and that will be most long-serving in his life. With all the success he has earned, Austin is known for his God-fearing, happy, generous and humble demeanor and as a young man who values family and loves the outdoors. His community spirit is inspiring others who might follow in his footsteps as he demonstrated recently as he returned to be at a Christmas tree lot that benefitted a child advocacy group here in DeSoto County to sign autographs and take pictures with fans. Austin Riley will be remembered by DeSoto Countian’s as the person of character that his former teachers, coaches, classmates and teammates have spoken so highly of.
We, the DeSoto County Board of Supervisors, are proud to proclaim December 10, 2021 as Austin Riley Day in DeSoto County as we acknowledge his success.
Witness our hands this 6th day of December, 2021.
Riley is expected to appear at BankPlus Sportscenter at Snowden Grove Park on Friday, Dec. 10 between 1-2 p.m. to greet fans and sign autographs.