March 28, 2024 at 7:05am

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Elena Ferrarin

Article by Elena Ferrarin

Communications Coordinator
Northbrook Park District


Young Ben Fingerman will never forget playing baseball at Wrigley Field thanks to the MLB Pitch, Hit & Run program held at the Northbrook Park District.

Ben, now 9, took part last year in the program, which provides children ages 7 to 14 the opportunity to square off in the official skills competition of Major League Baseball. Ben qualified within his age group and had the chance to compete in the home of the Chicago Cubs against kids his age from all over the Chicago area.

“It was so special, and a memory he will have for a lifetime,” his mother, Jen Fingerman, said. “It is a wonderful experience for your child to test their skills and have fun with friends.”

The park district will offer the MLB Pitch Hit & Run program on April 26 at 5:30pm at Techny Prairie Park and Fields in Northbrook. Participants compete in the baseball or softball division, and can advance through three levels of competition, including the finals held during the MLB All-Star Game.

The event offers a safe and fun environment for kids to stay active and fine-tune their baseball and softball skills so they can play, or continue playing, in their local communities, Northbrook Park District Supervisor Dan Catron said.

“It’s always a blast for everyone, and it’s great to see children be proud and happy when they do well,” Catron said. “The best part? It’s free!”

Athletes compete in three areas:

Pitch: Athletes are tested on the accuracy of their throws. They get five attempts to hit the strike zone from a designated pitching line. Each target hit is 50 points, with 100 points for a bullseye.

Hit: Athletes hit the ball off a tee as far as possible. They can adjust the tee to their desired height, and get five tries. Each ball gets points depending on which zone it lands in.

Run: Athletes are measured on how quickly they can run from home to first base. Each participant gets two attempts, and the fastest score is recorded.

Athletes receive an overall score that determines if they advance to the local team championship.

The highest scorers at the team championships receive an all-expense paid trip for two to the finals, which are hosted at the World Series, according to the MLB website.

The deadline to register for the MLB Pitch Hit & Run competition at the Northbrook Park District is 5pm on Wednesday, April 24.