Come this weekend, 12-year-old Camp Verde resident Carson Zale will get to experience something many kids his age would never get to do in a lifetime.
Having won a regional Pitch, Hit and Run competition in Flagstaff in mid-May, Zale felt pretty good about himself.
On May 21, however, Zale began to realize how much his hard work on the baseball field had paid off, winning the Pitch, Hit and Run Sectional Championships in Flagstaff, scoring 1,084 points to become the overall champion.
“It’s my favorite thing to do,” Zale said about playing baseball.
He sat under a tree, taking a break from the blistering mid-June sun at the Camp Verde High School baseball field, giving what was to be the first of many interviews of his young career if his baseball greatness continues.
Zale first picked up a bat at the age of 5, competing in T-ball.
“He’s been throwing that ball around since he could talk it feels like,” Zale’s mother Amy said as she sat and listened to the interview.
The young Carson Zale, of course, attended his first interview dressed to play baseball, as if the uniform is a part of his body.
Having won the sectional title, Zale will get to travel south to Scottsdale on Sunday, June 19, to participate in the 2011 Major League Baseball Pitch, Hit and Run Arizona Diamondbacks Team Championship at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick.
The new spring training home of the Arizona Diamondbacks will host 24 other participants of all age levels at the competition Sunday, but Zale is one of three in his age level from Arizona and New Mexico.
After the competition, Zale and his family will make their way to Chase Field on Sunday and be recognized by the crowd before the Diamondbacks take on the Chicago White Sox.
The best is yet to come, however, because if Zale finishes top three in the nation in his age level, he will be able to compete at the All-Star game in Phoenix in mid-July.
“How cool is that, I’ll get to shag fly balls. I’ve always wanted to do that,” Zale said with a big smile.
Of course, there will be the competition too for Zale, but shagging fly balls from big league ball players during batting practice at the All-Star game is way cooler, right?
Originally from Camp Verde, Zale currently attends Camp Verde Middle School and will be entering the seventh grade in the fall.
His favorite teams to follow include the Diamondbacks, along with the Phoenix Suns and the Arizona Cardinals. Zale also likes soccer.
Zale’s dream is to one day get to the big leagues to play baseball, but for now, he’s focused on hopefully making the Camp Verde All-Stars majors squad. Rosters are scheduled to be released Wednesday, June 15.
Zale’s favorite position is shortstop, but he also plays some third base and catches at times for his local Little League team.
“I like shortstop the most.
You get a lot of action there,” Zale said.
When asked if he had a favorite player in the big leagues, Zale responded with, “I like all of them. I don’t really have a favorite.”
Other hobbies for Zale include watching television, playing video games and eating and sleeping.
As for more immediate goals besides playing shortstop in the majors, Zale said he’s focused on getting to high school and becoming a good player at that level first, while getting good grades and going to college one day.
“I’ll go wherever they want me to play,” Zale said.
Right now, Sunday’s event in Scottsdale is where they want him to go, and who knows, maybe one day Camp Verde will have its first kid to ever make the major league.