California girl represents home town at All Star Game festivities
CALIFORNIA - Abby Braby shared the same field as her favorite baseball players Monday.
The California, Mo. native, 10 years old, is a finalist in the Pitch, Hit & Run skills contest. Braby will compete against two other contestant in the girls softball division for 9 and 10 year olds at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.
"Normally, not a lot of people would get to do this," Braby said. "So I'm pretty excited."
Braby said it was a very emotional moment for her family when they found out she had qualified for the final round. She heard her name called on MLB Network.
"I couldn't really believe it," Braby said.
Abby's father, Tony, is a football coach at Tipton High School. He remembers he was setting his DVR to record the All Star Game festivities when he heard his family call his name upstairs.
"I heard all this yelling and screaming and jumping up and down," Braby said. "So I quickly ran up there and knew that I had missed out on the initial reaction. Tears were flowing, we were grinning from ear to ear."
Abby's twin sister, Emma, also competed in the qualifying rounds of the competition. She lost to her sister in Jefferson City, but said she only wants to help Abby get better.
"I'm proud of her," Emma Braby said. "I just hope she does good. We can work together as a team."
Abby is one of a handful of 625,000 children in the United States who took part in the competition. She also had the chance to shag fly balls at the Home Run Derby and meet the players. She likes St. Louis' All Stars Matt Carpenter and Yadier Molina; her sister, Emma, really wanted to meet Alex Gordon of the Royals.
"To the make the final three out of the whole United States in her age group, it's just unbelievable," Tony Braby said.
The pitching and hitting segments of the competition were postponed due to stormy conditions in the Cincinnati area, and will take place Tuesday morning.