Giants host kids for Pitch, Hit and Run event
Division champions have chance to win trip to MLB All-Star Game
SAN FRANCISCO -- Renee Cho recalls her first Major League Baseball All-Star Game fondly.
Cho was one of the kids selected to shag fly balls during the Home Run Derby last July at Citi Field in New York. She didn't catch any, though.
"I almost did; one was coming right to me," Cho said, "but then a bigger girl jumped above me and caught it. It's OK, though, she was my friend."
Cho competed for the chance to make a return trip to the Midsummer Classic on Sunday morning at AT&T Park, a participant in MLB's Pitch, Hit and Run event, sponsored by Scotts.
Cho's parents might want to start looking into a flight to Minneapolis for mid-July: Cho took first place in the 13-14-year-old girls division Sunday morning; she just might get another chance at catching a ball hit by a Major Leaguer.
There were eight different divisions, separated by age and gender, competing at AT&T Park on Sunday morning. The 24 kids with the three best scores from each division across the country will get an all-expenses-paid trip to All-Star Weekend in Minneapolis. The winners will have the opportunity to shag balls at the Home Run Derby at Target Field on July 14, along with competing against the national winners, who will be announced later this month.
The 23 kids participating Sunday morning were technically competitors, but a fun time appeared to have been had by all.
While the boys emulated their favorite Giants players' batting stances and celebrations, some of the girls made sure to take selfies and snapchats in the home team's dugout, a location that made some of the smattering of parents looking on from the crowd envious of their youngsters.
"How's it feel to be in a big league dugout?" one father yelled to his kid.
After a bashful response and shoulder shrug from his son, father provided son with the bright side.
"It could be a lot worse, you could be home picking up dog poo," the dad said.
There were lots of smiles on this morning for the kids as lifelong memories were created.
Oh, and lots of gawking and finger-pointing when Giants starter Matt Cain made his way through the crowd of kids to stretch in the outfield.
The day ended after the trophy presentation with a group shout of "Happy Father's Day" to the crowd of relatives assembled.
For this Father's Day -- or at least in the morning -- it was all about the kids.
Ryan Hood is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ryanhood19. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.