DOWNEY – “Take me out to the ballgame, take me out with the crowd…” is a line we’re all too familiar with. Baseball takes skill, practice, and not to mention a lot of confidence for a player to be able to get up onto the base, while being watched by many, and perform their very best under pressure, something Raul Hernandez is all too familiar with. Hernandez was born in Bellflower and raised in East L.A., and is a junior in varsity at Warren High School. He’s been on the team since he was a freshman, and he says, “I joined baseball because it’s challenging. It’s a sport where you have control of what you do offensively, and defensively.”
Whether Hernandez is a second or third baseman, or playing in left field, he’s always on guard, and is careful not to make too many mistakes that could ultimately cost the game.
“I practice hard as if it was a game,” he says, adding that “for an athlete to be successful he has to overcome challenges, be competitive all the time, and be clutch, which means to perform well under pressure.”
To be great on the field though, practice comes first. A .300 batting average doesn’t come without practice.
“I practice everyday from 2-5 p.m. and on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, I also practice from 6-7 a.m.,” Hernandez says. “Game days are on Saturday.”
Now that’s dedication. Who does he owe it all to? Without hesitation he says, “My coach.”
Coach Pearson has been coaching the Warren High School Baseball team for quite some time now. Hernandez says, “My coach continually challenges me so that I can reach my full potential, and he helps me become a better person and player on and off the field.”
He then adds that his teammates have helped him improve by giving him tips on the field. Overall, last season Hernandez and his team did exceptionally well, earning them League Championship.
So what advice does Hernandez have for other potential baseball players? He proudly says, “My advice for those wanting to play baseball is to give it 110% and always be competitive.” He says that his parents have been very supportive throughout the season, and plans on continuing with baseball after high school, and into college.
Marisa Vidal is a junior at Warren High School studying journalism.
Published: March 5, 2015 - Volume 13 - Issue 47