Boy, 10, to compete at AT&T Park
Nevada City 10-year-old Jordan Jiannino will have the experience of a lifetime this Saturday.
Jiannino earned a chance to dig into the batters’ box at the 41,503-seat AT&T Park in San Francisco. Unlike the San Francisco Giants, Jiannino won’t have to face Oakland star Dan Haren on the mound, but Jiannino will have a chance to strut his stuff in the Pitch, Hit & Run competition before the game between Bay Area rivals.
“It all started in Nevada City,” said Jordan, who finished first in the running competition there. “Then I got to go to Lincoln and do it all over again, and I got first. Then a letter came from the Bay Area, which means I made it.
“I was really surprised.”
Jiannino placed first in the running competition at Pioneer Park in Nevada City and was invited to McBean Park in Lincoln for sectionals. There Jiannino took first in combined pitch, hit and run categories in his 9-10 age group.
“This is something we do every year,” said Kelly Jiannino, Jordan’s mother, speaking of the competition in Nevada City. “Last year he won the running and hitting portion and got a letter to go to Sacramento, but we never went.
“This year after he won the running, we told him not to get his hopes up to advance.”
But a letter came anyway, and Jordan is now on his way to San Francisco.
It may be a bit of a longshot, but if Jordan finishes in the top four in his age group on Saturday, he could be invited back to compete before the All-Star Game, which happens to be in San Francisco this year.
Jordan’s folks would love nothing more than to see their son do that, especially since they won’t be able to be there on Saturday. The Jiannino’s older son, Justin, graduates from Nevada Union that day, so Jordan’s grandfather, Richard, will take Jordan and his friend to event.
“We could go to that one,” Kelly said of the All-Star Game. “But we don’t want to put pressure on him. We’re just trying to make this about having fun and not stressing out.”
So, what part of the trip is Jordan looking forward to the most?
“He’s probably more excited about the indoor swimming pool in San Francisco than anything else,” Kelly guessed.
Jordan wasn’t so sure.
“Seeing the game,” Jordan said. “That and going out on the field.”
To see Jordan excel didn’t surprise his mother.
“He plays on a team that he’s the smallest and youngest player on the team,” Kelly said. “So he has he confidence and ability to do well.”
Saturday’s competition will start with participants checking in at 8 a.m. with the competition starting at 8:30. Action will wrap up by 9:30 a.m. when officials are expected to tabulate results and announce the winners.
The group will then head down on the field again at 12:15 p.m. to be part of the pre-game ceremonies before the 12:55 p.m. start time.
“No matter how well they do, they get their name announced at the game,” Kelly said.
To contact Sports Writer Ross Maak, e-mail email@example.com or call 477-4244.
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