Pepsi Pitch, Hit and Run competition gearing up

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 6, 2007

Special to The Advocate

This spring, youngsters ages 14-and-under will have the unique opportunity to showcase three fundamental baseball skills- pitching, hitting and running- for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to compete on-field at the 2007 Major League Baseball All-Star Game.

Pepsi Major League Baseball Pitch, Hit and Run (PHR) is the official skills competition of Major League Baseball. PHR is a great way for youth organizations nationwide to put their town on the map and allow children in their community the opportunity to advance through two levels of competition to compete at a Major League ballpark. Organizations interested in hosting a local competition may visit

This free grassroots program is in its 11th year of existence and is designed to provide youth across North America with an integrated competition that recognizes individual excellence in core baseball skills. Children compete in four age groups: 8-and-under, 9-10, 11-12, 13-14 and have the chance to advance through four levels of competition, including the Local, Sectional, Team Championship and National Finals.

Just last year, local children Chip Taylor and Todd Burkett competed in the Sectional and Team Championship events, with Burkett making it all the way to Atlanta, where he competed on Turner Field before an Atlanta Braves game.

Once advancing to the MLB Team Championship, participants will compete at a Major League Ballpark. From there, the top four competitors nationwide from each of the four age groups will win a trip to the National Finals to compete for the National Championship during All-Star Week in San Francisco, Calif.