Pitch, Hit & Run Provides 'Once-in-a-Lifetime' Opportunities

Parks & Recreation, September 2008 | Go to article overview

Pitch, Hit & Run Provides 'Once-in-a-Lifetime' Opportunities


The town of Oro Valley, Ariz., recently became one of the latest in a long line of recreation departments that can claim responsibility for placing a youth ballplayer on the field during Major League Baseball (MLB) All-Star Game festivities. Ten-year-old Derek Daly competed in the Aquafina MLB Pitch, Hit & Run (PHR) Local Competition offered by his town in April, and three months later found himself taking swings at home plate in Yankee Stadium.

"I would like to thank our town's park and recreation department for hosting Pitch, Hit & Run,' said Weiwen Daly, Derek's mother. "Otherwise, Derek would not have had a chance to compete."

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

After Daly advanced through local and sectional competitions in Oro Valley, he went on to the Arizona Diamondbacks Team Championship competition at Chase Field. Daly competed on the field prior to a Diamondbacks game, placing first in his age group and becoming eligible to advance to the PHR National Finals at the MLB AllStar Game in New York.

"It's a great source of pride for our town to offer this opportunity and to have a national finalist," said Robert Carmona, assistant recreation manager for Oro Valley. "I would highly recommend hosting this program because it's free, it's a great experience for the kids, and recreation departments have the resources to extend a great opportunity"

In addition to competing in the Aquafina MLB PHR National Finals competition on the field at Yankee Stadium, Daly and the 23 other national finalists were VIPs at the All-Star brunch, attended the DHL FanFest, served as honorary outfield shaggers during the State Farm Home Run Derby, and attended the 79th All-Star Game. …

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