When Major League Baseball brings All-Star Week to Miami, it’s going to be a busy time for Miami’s Bruno Tenjido, and he couldn’t be happier.
During MLB All-Star Week Miami, Tenjido will play for the Miami Marlins RBI 12U team, participating in the 10th annual MLB All-Star Youth Classic. That’s a certainty. Also, he had a chance to be a finalist in the Scotts MLB Pitch, Hit & Run National Championships.
Tenjido, 12, won the 11-12 age group of the Miami Marlins Team Championships during Play Ball Weekend at Marlins Park. Winning qualified him for the opportunity to become a finalist in the Pitch, Hit & Run finals.
“It was super fun playing inside Marlins Park, winning first place,” Tenjido said. “Even if I don’t get to be in the Pitch, Hit & Run [nationals], I’m going to see the All-Star Game and the Home Run Derby.”
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Because he won the Marlins team title of Pitch, Hit & Run, he will be at both big league events.
As for the 2017 national finals of Pitch, Hit & Run.
The top three scorers from all team winners in each division will vie for a Pitch, Hit & Run national title on Monday, July 10 during MLB All-Star Week at Marlins Park. Last year, Miami Marlins team winner Alexander Smith, then 8, of Miami Gardens not only qualified in the 7-8 age group for the championships at Petco Park during MLB All-Star Week San Diego, but he won the national title there.
“Winning was the best feeling ever,” Smith said via email. “Competing against my two new buddies [both named Tyler] was not easy. They were both good ball players. When I saw my picture on the jumbo-tron at Petco Park, I could not believe it...I won!!!”
He continued: “I was Blessed to win PHR my first time trying, and going to San Diego was awesome. The Marlins did not have a winner in many years so I was proud to represent my hometown of Miami and bring home the trophy.”
His PHR trophy rests nicely in his trophy case inside the front of his home.
“Last year’s Pitch, Hit & Run was super fun,” he added. “It was great competing at Marlins Park [for the team finals]. I was nervous, but knew that I had to try my best and give it my all if I wanted to make it to San Diego. Hearing my name announced as a finalist on the TV was so exciting. I was very lucky to be able to represent Miami in my age group. In San Diego, [MLB] got us tickets to everything from Fanfest, to the All-Star Game and even the Home Run Derby. I loved shagging balls on the field during the Derby.”
Smith, now 9, plays second base for ESP MATRIX Travel Baseball Club. He will be a fourth grader in the Fall at H.I.V.E. Preparatory School in Miami Lakes.
Smith did compete in this year’s Pitch, Hit & Run, moving up to the 9-10 age group.
“I won the local qualifier, but at the sectional competition, I did not do very well,” he said. “My numbers for pitching were low; my throws were off. Also, I slipped while running. I was sad that I did not advance. I know where my weak spots are and will work harder for next year.”
He added: “I’m disappointed that I was not able to advance this time, but I will be cheering for our home team favorites like Home Run Derby Champ Giancarlo Stanton.”
Last year, Tenjido was one of the younger contestants in the 11-12 age group, placing second in the Marlins team finals.
This season, he won the local event in front of Marlins Park and then finished first in the sectional contest in Hialeah, leading to the team finals inside Marlins Park. He is the only Miami resident to win a Marlins team title in this year’s event.
The Marlins Team Champions for 2017 are:
Baseball Division: 7-8: Chase Kovich-Bously, Fort Pierce. 9-10: Sullivan Smith, Jupiter. 11-12: Bruno Tenjido, Miami. 13-14: Drake Flowers, Jupiter.
Softball Division: 7-8: Adriana Boucher, Lighthouse Point. 9-10: Avery Sanchez, Fort Myers. 11-12: Samantha Bernstein, Coconut Creek. 13-14: Becka Mellor, Nokomis.
NOTE: It was released on June 26 that Tenjido did not finish in the top three for nationals in the 11-12 age group. Sullivan Smith of Jupiter did in the 9-10 age group.
MLB Pitch, Hit & Run encourages youth players to develop their skills by competing in pitching, hitting, and running competitions, which begin at the local level and continuing through sectional and team championships. Team championships are hosted by each of the 30 MLB ballparks between the end of May and into late June.
More than 650,000 boys and girls have participated throughout North America in Major League Baseball’s free Pitch, Hit & Run for baseball and softball.
South Florida Hosmer a PHR alum
Eric Hosmer of the Kansas City Royals, Chris Parmelee of the New York Yankees and Matt Wisler of the Atlanta Braves are Pitch, Hit & Run alum. As a youth living in Davie, Hosmer won the state title en route to competing in the MLB Pitch, Hit & Run National Championships. He was a member of the Cooper City Diamond Kings travel baseball team.
Hosmer said via the Kansas City Royals Media Relations: “It was a great experience [competing in the Pitch, Hit & Run National Championships]. It was the first time for me, and I was only 8-years-old, and I got to step onto the field in a big league [ball park]. So really to look around and see all the seats and all the people in a big league [ball park] and environment was awesome.”
Hosmer, a 2015 World Series champion, was last season’s All-Star Game MVP. This season’s MLB All-Star Week, which includes the Pitch, Hit & Run finals, is in his hometown.
“It’s really cool. It’s my hometown,” the first baseman said. “Actually, when I competed in the Diamond Skills -- which is now the Pitch, Hit & Run -- the states were at Pro Player Stadium [now Hard Rock Stadium], so it will be cool to see how the event has grown. Hopefully, I’ll get to compete in the All-Star Game and watch the kids compete in the Pitch, Hit & Run contest.”
Pro Player Stadium in Miami Gardens housed the Miami Dolphins and the then Florida Marlins. The Dolphins play in the same facility, upgraded and renamed Hard Rock Stadium. The Florida Marlins are now the Miami Marlins, residing in Marlins Park in Hialeah, home to several MLB All-Star Week events including the Home Run Derby and All-Star Game.
About Bruno Tenjido
Playing baseball since he was 7, Tenjido is a proud Cuban American. His parents, Ivan and Odalys, are from Cuba. Ivan played baseball and wrestled in Cuba. His grandparents, Jesus Cabrera and Olga Dominiguez, live in Cuba. They have visited Tenjido and even watched him in last season’s Pitch, Hit & Run.
A good student, Tenjido just completed fifth grade at Coral Way K-8 Center.
His favorite player is Cuban Jose Abreu, a first baseman for the Chicago White Sox. Abreu defected from Cuba in August 2013 to test the MLB Free Agent market. He signed with the White Sox a couple of months later. The 2014 MLB All-Star Game was the first game that his parents saw him play since he left Cuba.
“I liked watching Jose Fernandez play the game; he was from Cuba, too,” Tenjido said.
Other favorite Martlins.
“Ozuna, Marcell Ozuna, and Adeiny Hechavarria.”
He added: “I love watching Bryce Harper play baseball; I love his attitude; I love how he plays the game of baseball.”
Tenjido also displays a passion for the game he so enjoys playing and viewing. He is a middle infielder who can pitch and man the outfield. He’s participated in many tournaments from Key West to Tampa.
Tenjido currently competes for the Clemente Pirates 12U team in the Miami Youth Baseball Association, which conducts games at Foranado Park, Brothers to the Rescue Memorial Park and Grapeland Park. The later will be the baseball home for the MLB All-Star Youth Classic (July 7-10).
“I’m going to play in the [Classic] at Grapeland, and that’s where I play,” he said. “It feels really good playing my favorite sport against different teams from different states at Grapeland.”
The Classic features 12U baseball and softball teams from Alabama, California, Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, Michigan, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Texas.
The Miami baseball and softball teams in the Classic are from the Miami Marlins Jr. RBI program.
Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) is a Major League Baseball initiative designed to provide young people from underserved and diverse communities the opportunity to play baseball and softball.
All players will be housed at the University of Miami in Coral Gables. Their beach visit will be part of a community service project – beach cleanup effort – on Saturday morning, July 8, leaving plenty of time for baseball and softball action.
The Classic is a friendly, round-robin tournament. The objective of the event is to create a valuable and rewarding experience for the kids. MLB organizers are not crowning a champion nor keeping track of wins and losses.
MLB All-Star Youth Classic
The 10th annual MLB All-Star Youth Classic for 12U baseball and softball teams is Friday, July 7-Monday, July 10 at Grapeland Park (baseball) and Fern Isle Park (softball).
Opening ceremonies: 7 p.m. Thursday, July 6 at Play Ball Park at Bayfront Park.
Participating teams in morning games:
Baseball: Columbia, South Carolina (Columbia RBI); Evansville, Indiana (Mattingly Charities RBI); Flint, Michigan (Jackson Park RBI); Hawthorne, California (Holly Park Little League); Miami (Miami Marlins RBI); Oxford, Alabama (Oxford Dixie Youth Baseball), Stamford, Connecticut (Stamford Sluggers — girls’ baseball team); Tampa (Wellswood Sports Association PONY).
Softball: Lajas, Puerto Rico (Puerto Rico RBI); El Paso, Texas (Base Play RBI); Jersey City, New Jersey (Roberto Clemente RBI); Miami (Miami Marlins RBI).
All-Star FanFest in Miami
Meet your Hometown Heroes at MLB All-Star FanFest.
Free autographs, photos, skills clinics and much more with the stars of today and the legends.
FanFest is Friday, July 7-Tuesday, July 11 at the Miami Beach Convention Center.
Special $13 FanFest MVP ticket offer.
*Scheduled appearances subject to change
Buy MVP tickets
Play Ball Park in Miami
PLAY BALL Park is open from Thursday, July 6-Tuesday, July 11 at Miami’s Bayfront Park.
The park will feature a variety of youth baseball and softball programming. Activities will highlight informal ways to play the game.
Free Play will be open to the general public.
Jr. Home Run Derby
The T-Mobile Jr. Home Run Derby is 8:30-10:30 a.m. Saturday, July 8 at Marlins Park.
Scotts MLB Pitch, Hit & Run
The Scotts MLB Pitch, Hit & Run National Championships begin 12:30 p.m. Monday, July 10 at Marlins Park.
Connect with the MLB All-Star Game in Miami
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