MESA, AZ - This week, we're headed to Extra Innings batting cages in Mesa to catch up with one of the top youth baseball teams in the East Valley, the Giants!
So the first question I have is, are you Cruise or Cruzer? "Some people call me Cruise, but a lot of Cruzer", he tells me. Okay Cruzer, so what's going on here today? "We're playing baseball."
Easy enough! So what happens when you step into that batting cage? "You get a bat and you swing." I like Cruzer! He's straight and to the point. None of those canned, generic comments we get from the big leaguers. This guy tells is like it is!
So let's check in with one of the senior ball players, eight year old Ella! So Ella, have you hit any home runs? "Um, in my whole life? Yes!" I actually meant today, but that's cool.
While some of the kids are waiting their turn to hit and doing their media interviews, the batting action inside the cages is fast and furious. For six year old Carson, the scariest thing about stepping into the batters box is, "The ball hitting you."
But for Aiden, it's not scary at all! "No, it's not he tells me. You're not afraid of the ball hitting you? No!"
For Aiden, it's all about the long ball. "It's when you're hitting the ball, making home runs."
So how do you know when you've hit a home run in the batting cages? "It's when you um, hit it all the way back on to the wall."
So who's pitching to you? "Coach Mike and Coach Ted," Aiden says. Are they pitching fast? "Um, yeah, a hundred percent." Now that's fast!
Once everyone's had a chance to hit, it's time to collect the baseball's and there's no better way to do that than using your batting helmet.
Okay, back to why we're here at the batting cages and for six year old Logan, it's about getting the "W". "To try to win, beat the other teams."
So Logan, what position do you play? "First. What else have you played? I've played hockey."
Okay, not really related, but solid!
So Logan, I noticed you're not wearing your batting gloves today, why not? "I, I wear ‘em like when I go to real baseball, like outside baseball."
Ah ha! There you have it! There's indoor baseball, practice baseball, and outdoor, real baseball!
Congratulations Giants, you're this week's Small Stars!