Not only did Mason Murray get to compete on the same field the all-stars of Major League Baseball will take tonight, but he got to shag balls hit by his favorite player, Albert Pujols, during the Home Run Derby.
Murray competed in the Major League Baseball Pitch, Hit and Run competition Monday afternoon at AT&T Park in San Francisco. At 11 years old, Murray took fourth place in the 11-and-12-year-old division. His mother Kelly Murray noticed how much bigger the three other competitors were.
“He was the youngest boy out there in his age group, and you could tell,” Kelly Murray said. “I swear one of those 12-year-olds had a mustache. It was scary.”
The Pitch, Hit and Run competition is an annual competition put on by Pepsi and Major League Baseball in which boys and girls ages seven to 14 compete with one another while displaying core baseball skills. These skills include throwing six pitches at a strike zone from from 45 feet away, hitting a ball as far and as straight as they can from a tee and a timed run from second base to home plate.
Mason, in his second year of participation in the competition, took first place in Busch Stadium’s competition on June 10 in what he said was his best
performance. Each of the 30 major league stadiums held their own competition. Two weeks later he found out his score was high enough to earn him a spot in the national competition as one of the top four in the 11-and-12-year-old age group. And the best part, the national competition was held in San Francisco as part of All-Star Weekend. During the festivities, Murray got autographs from several of the major league all-stars.
Murray took first place at both the Columbia level at Oakland Park and the sectional level in Rolla before he took the field at Busch Stadium.
Camren Cross, the director of the Pitch, Hit and Run competition in Columbia, was very impressed with Murray during the local competition.
“He always thanks me for putting on the competition,” Cross said. “He’s just a very special young man and I can tell that he’s been raised very well.”