If you’ve ever competed in Major League Baseball’s Pitch Hit & Run Contest, you know what a well-organized and fun-filled event that it is.
Revere baseball and softball players can now thank Coach Shawn Vetere for bringing the elite of all youth sports competitions to the City of Revere this Saturday at Griswold Park.
Vetere, who coaches three teams in the Revere Youth Baseball League, is the coordinator of the skills contest for players, ages 7-14, who will compete in pitching, baserunning, and hitting for the right to advance to the regionals and ultimately MLB’s World Series when the national finals are held.
“I’m doing it because I always wanted to compete in it and we never had it,” said Vetere, a former baseball catcher and quarterback at Revere High. “It’s a great competition. I’ve wanted this for Revere since I was a kid. I used to watch ‘This Week In Baseball’ with Mel Allen and every year they would put the kids on one of the shows.”
Vetere, 53, is a baseball aficionado and thus treasures the esteemed tradition of the Pitch Hit & Run that dates back decades to the golden days of Major League Baseball. For reasons unknown to local coaches, the contest never grew to the epic following it enjoys in other areas of the country.
Vetere said his 11-year-old son, Michael Vetere, will be compete in Saturday’s contest. As a youth himself, Shawn played in the St. Mary’s Youth Baseball League. He was a very good player with big-time potential.
“But I blew my knee out playing football at Revere High and it hampered me catching in baseball,” recalled Vetere, who was a starter for Coach John Miller in the 1984-86 RHS football seasons.
Vetere returned the diamond in a big way, playing baseball in the Yawkey League where his coach was none other than former Boston Red Sox first baseman George “Boomer” Scott.
Vetere expects a strong turnout for Saturday’s contest with more than 50 players already pre-registered.
Win or lose, the revered Pitch Hit & Run Contest is going to be an annual staple on the local baseball calendar and Shawn Vetere couldn’t be happier.
“The main thing is that it’s back and we’re going to do it again next year,” said Vetere. “I want to get this contest really going for Revere kids.”
And if the players can match Shawn Vetere’s enthusiasm for Pitch Hit & Run, the city has a winning event for years to come.