6/14/2014 2:14 P.M. ET
Turner Field hosts Pitch, Hit & Run competition
By Joe Morgan / MLB.com
ATLANTA -- Stop me if you've heard this one before. A kid named Andruw had a banner day at Turner Field.
Thirteen-year-old Andruw Criswell, who hails from the area between Trenton and Milan, Tenn., was one of eight winners on Saturday morning in Atlanta at the Braves Team Championship for the Pitch, Hit & Run competition presented by Scotts.
"That's exactly where I got the spelling from," said Randy Criswell, Andruw's father, while laughing. "I attended a game in 2000 in center field. That's when Andruw Jones was playing center and I got a ball from him. That's where I got his spelling."
Eleven boys and 12 girls in four distinct groups ranging from ages 7-14 competed in events that included timed running from second base to home plate, three swings off a tee and trying to hit a strike zone with six pitches.
Andruw, whose family traveled more than seven hours from their home in northwestern Tennessee to be at Turner Field on Saturday, and his seven fellow winners are eligible to compete with winners from the other 29 MLB clubs at the finals during All-Star Game festivities at Target Field in Minneapolis from July 11-15.
Although the possibility of attending the All-Star Game excites Andruw, he was enamored by his first visit to Turner Field. His family will attend Saturday night's game between the Braves and the Angels at 7:15 p.m. ET
Like most of the kids competing, Andruw spent a lot of his time on the field simply taking in the rare experience of setting foot on a Major League field. Another competitor excitedly exclaimed, "There's the Coke bottle! They shoot fireworks out of there."
"It was big," Andruw said. "I was just a small boy in a big stadium."
If Andruw's numbers from Saturday rank among the top three scores in the 13-14 boys age group, a trip to Minnesota a month from now will be the farthest north the Criswell family has ever traveled.
"We've been up to New York City, but never been to the Midwest or that far north," Randy said. "I'd say mid-Illinois and the St. Louis area are the farthest. We're going to enjoy the rest of our time in Atlanta watching the Braves."
Joe Morgan is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.