A young Mount Tabor athlete, a finalist of a tri-state baseball competition, will be realizing his dream of competing on the home field of the New York Yankees.
Ten-year old Ty Sallie, who attends Mount Tabor Elementary School, is one of three winners in his age group from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut to qualify for the 2013 Team Championships held at Yankee stadium on Saturday, June 22.
“It feels great, I'm excited to go out onto the field,” said Sallie, who is in awe that he gets to compete where his favorite Yankees play. “I can't believe it.”
Major League Baseball Pitch, Hit & Run (PHR) is an annual competition held at numerous locations throughout the country for youths to compete in each one of the categories.
When Sallie competed at the event held at Volunteers Park in Parsippany, not only was he declared the winner of each of the categories at the local level, he also placed in the top three spots of every competitor in the tri-state area.
Sallie won the competition in 2011 and 2012 but this will be the first year he has qualified for the Team Championship. If he wins he will be honored in a pre-game ceremony by the New York Yankees and Major League Baseball representatives before moving on the face off against the winners from around the country.
“Im going to practice hitting off the tee, running from second base to home and practice pitching,” said Sallie. “I practice every other day or so and also with my team.”
At the Team Championship, each player will get six pitches from the pitchers mound to throw from 45 feet away. Each time a player hits the strike zone they get 75 points. Pitching is the hardest one, he said.
In the hitting portion, each competitor gets three swings off of a tee with each hit being measured by distance from home plate as well as accuracy. The furthest hits along a line running from home plate through second base and into the outfield earns the most points.
In the last category, each player will have to run a major league distance from second base to third base, to home plate, with the fastest time earning the most points.
Since his father Eddie Sallie is also his baseball coach, Ty will be practicing at home as much as he can before Saturday's competition.
“As a dad, I'm proud of him because the first year, he came in third in the sectionals and the second year he won the sectional,” said Eddie. “He's getting better as he gets older and he's not giving up.”
“As far as being his coach, I teach him what he needs to know to get to the next level, me being a baseball player myself,” he said.
Eddie Sallie said he's still in shock of the win and it hasn't hit him yet that he will get to see his son step out onto the field at Yankee Stadium.
“I think me and my wife are going to be more nervous than he is, it's a chance of a lifetime,” he said. “Regardless of what he does, he's exceeded anything that I could have imagined.”