Blumberg Off the Bench

1 decade 5 months 5 days ago Tuesday, July 10 2007 Jul 10, 2007 Tuesday, July 10, 2007 5:42:22 PM CDT July 10, 2007 in Sports

Mason Murray carries a lot of tricks in his baseball bag. His mother, Kelly, saw his skills as something that could take him places.

"I saw a press release on it from parks and rec and I thought, let's show up and we did," said Kelly Murray.

The National Pitch, Hit and Run competition takes place across the U.S. and more than 600-thousand kids try out.

"Pitch to a taget six times from 45 feet back and then when you hit you have to hit it off a tee as far as you can straight. And then when you run, you have to touch third base and home and they time you at that," said Murray.

A second place finish in the competition in 2006 inspired Murray for a return this year.

"I knew my experience from last year, so I decided I could do a lot better. So I decided to do it again," said Murray.

"He missed first by about 30 points and he said, 'Mom, I'm coming back next year.' I said 'OK, start working out and we'll see.' Gotta practice and that's exactly what he did," said Kelly.

The work paid off, Murray won the competition at Busch Stadium.

"For my pitching I hit 6 out of 6. For my hitting I hit it 190 feet and I ran about 8 seconds from 2nd to home. I did my best, pretty good," said Murray.

But the kid who is already an all-star in Columbia's Daniel Boone's Little League, had to see if he was a top four national qualifier. He had wait for his all-star call.

"I kinda started shaking, I'm talking to MLB on my cell phone. That's a weird experience and tried not to scream. We showed up at basketball camp to let him know and he's grinning from ear to ear," said Kelly.

"I just told my mom I made it and she was like, 'Yeah you did'," said Murray.

Murray is one of only four in the 11-12 year old age group. He'll compete for the National Pitch, Hit and Run Championship and shag fly balls Monday during the MLB Home Run Derby.

"I just have to catch the ball so I'm not embarrassed. So they know I can catch the ball good," said Murray.

Murray says he's getting plenty of requests from friends for autographed baseballs. The Murray family is making a vacation out of the trip. They will all get to experience the All-Star game in San Francisco.

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