A local 8-year-old will have an opportunity later this month all New York Yankee fans dream of. Even her father.
As part of the MLB Pitch, Hit, and Run competition, Hannah Herrick of Rotterdam will have the opportunity to stand in the same batter’s box where Alex Rodriguez has hit many of his 647 home runs from, run the bases Brett Gardner steals daily and stand on the same mound Mariano Rivera graces after entering to Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” to close out a game.
“It’s pretty amazing,” said Brendan Herrick, Hannah’s father. “I’m actually a little jealous that she’ll be able to run the bases at Yankee Stadium. It’s a chance of a lifetime.”
Herrick, who plays softball in Rotterdam, began her road to Yankee Stadium a month ago, when she competed in the local MLB Pitch, Hit, and Run competition in Schenectady. After receiving a letter shortly after the competition, the Herrick family learned Hannah had successfully advanced to the next round of competition in Saratoga. A few weeks ago, the family learned Hannah had advanced to compete at Yankee Stadium on Saturday.
The round at Yankee Stadium involves the top three contestants from boys’ and girls’ divisions in each of four age groups — 7-8, 9-10, 11-12 and 13-14 — to compete in each of the three events in the competition: pitching, hitting, and base-running.
At the pitching station, Hannah will throw an 11-inch softball, aiming for the strike zone. Each contestant has six attempts to reach the strike zone, receiving 75 points for each pitch that does so.
For the hitting station, each contestant in Hannah’s age group will have the opportunity to hit six softballs off a tee. Each hit is measured for both distance and accuracy. The combination of accuracy and distance factor into each competitor’s score.
At the last station, competitors run from second base to home plate. This is a timed station, which begins when competitors leave second base and ends when they touch home plate.
In Hannah’s opinion, running is her best event.
The competition at Yankee Stadium begins at 7 a.m., before the Yankees take on the Tampa Bay Rays at 1 p.m.
If Hannah beats out the other two girls in her division, she will advance to the championship round at Citi Field, home of the New York Mets, on All-Star Weekend from July 12-16. She would then compete against 29 other girls, each representing anther Major League Baseball team.
Hannah said she’d be “super happy” if she won at Yankee Stadium. “I think I might even cry,” she said.
GAZETTE COVERAGEEnsure access to everything we do, today and every day, check out our subscribe page at DailyGazette.com/Subscribe
More from The Daily Gazette: