A young boy from Greater Victoria has the chance to represent the Seattle Mariners in a national baseball competition.
Nolan Weinmeyer, 10, will compete against dozens of other kids from around the Pacific Northwest in Major League Baseball’s Pitch, Hit & Run skills competition on July 1 in Seattle.
He’ll be the only Canadian taking part, and has a chance to continue on to the national finals in Washington D.C. later this year during All-Star weekend.
“Nolan started getting into sports at a young age and wanting to do everything. He’s been playing hockey and baseball since he was four or five,” said his father Brad, who has his own baseball background serving as the vice president of Central Saanich Little League until very recently and also as an instructor at the Lambrick Park junior academy and coaching with the Victoria Mariners.
“It’s hit, pitch and run, so what they do is run the bases from home plate to second base and it’s timed — you have a score based on your time. Then you have to throw six pitches at a target from 45 feet away and you get a certain number of points for how many you hit, and then you get three hits off a tee and its based on length and accuracy down the middle.”
Nolan qualified for the event by advancing through local and sectional competitions held in May and June around Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Alaska and B.C. Only the top three finishers in each age group qualified for the Mariners Team Championship Competition.
It’s a busy time for the young baseball star who just returned from a tournament in Reno where his team finished fifth out of fifteen teams from places like California, Utah and Hawaii. Next up is district championships and of course the trip to Safeco Field.
Reached at his home in Sidney, Nolan was very excited when his dad told him that he’d be competing in Seattle. Playing baseball for over half of his young life, Nolan says running the bases and stealing second are among his favourite aspects of the sport.
And he even hit his first in-game home run earlier this month at the Reno tournament.
“I’m super thankful that my mom and dad have put all this time and effort and money in letting me do all this cool stuff,” Nolan said.
The top finishers in Seattle have the chance to advance to the Pitch, Hit & Run National Finals, which will take place during MLB’s 2018 All-Star Week festivities at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.
The scores from the Safeco Field competition will be compared with the scores of all competitors across the country in each age group, with the top three from each division moving on to the National Championship on July 16 before the All-Star Home Run Derby.