Springwood to host Pitch, Hit and Run

Published 12:57 pm Wednesday, July 14, 2021

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In order to grow the game of baseball, Major League Baseball created the Pitch, Hit and Run competition for ages 7-14 in the 1990s. The competition has continued to this day and will be making its way to Chambers County this summer.

Springwood Athletic Director, football and baseball coach Kurt Page was talking to his former college roommate Joe Kelly Sr., the father of current MLB pitcher Joe Kelly, trying to find ways to get baseball to grow in the Greater Valley Area.

Kelly Sr. told Page about the Pitch, Hit and Run.

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Now, the MLB program will take place at Springwood on July 17 starting at 10 a.m.

“It’s good to be placed in an area that has accepted growing,” Paige said. “That’s my calling. I think everyone has gifts, and one of my gifts is to promote and activate, encourage and form people to play. Baseball, that’s my passion. I played it all the way up to college, and I signed a baseball scholarship too. I accepted a full ride to Vanderbilt for football. Every year I tried to get myself recruited into the baseball program, but my football coaches wouldn’t allow it. I love the strategy of baseball. I know it’s a slow-moving game, but the kids today can see the excitement with [Fernando] Tatis Jr., [Vladamir] Guerrero Jr. and Joe Kelly Jr. I’m excited to be at the place in the Valley, where you have the little league programs growing. Hopefully, this type of program will engage our community.”

Starting off the day will be a Jr. Home Run Derby, where the players will get the opportunity to have a home run derby, just like the MLB will have during All-Star weekend. After the derby, the players will participate in the Pitch, Hit and Run.

In the pitching section, players will get six chances to throw six strikes from 45 feet for baseball players and 35 feet for softball players. In the hit section, players will get three swings from a tee, with the best hit counting for their score. In the run section, players will run 120 feet, starting at second base and will go to home, testing the sprint speed of the player.

Several MLB players participated in Pitch, Hit and Run competitions as children, including Eric Hosmer for the San Diego Padres, Rhys Hoskins of the Philadelphia Phillies and former MVP Andrew McCutchen.

Both boys and girls ages 7-14 are eligible to register. To register for the home run derby and Pitch, Hit and Run, sign up online at https://jrhrd2021.leagueapps.com/events/2411844. There is no registration fee.

Girls will participate on the softball field, while baseball players will be on the baseball field.