(Photo courtesy of Richard Biggs)
Crossing home plate at Safeco Field is a dream shared by many a Little Leaguer.
On June 17, it became reality for Colin Biggs.
Competing in the Seattle Mariners team finals of the MLB/Aquafina Pitch, Hit and Run competition, Colin got a taste of the big league environment.
"It just felt really good to be there, to be able to see what major league baseball is really like," Colin said. "It's the same field I play on. It's just in a larger stadium."
The opportunity to run the bases, take a few swings and to pitch at Safeco Field came because Colin was one of 24 youths from the Pacific Northwest who advanced to the Mariners' Pitch, Hit and Run finals.
A recent graduate of Shahala Middle School, Colin was one of three boys at Safeco to compete in the 13-14 age division.
Colin's road to Safeco Field started by winning the right to represent Cascade Little League at a sectional Pitch Hit and Run contest in Longview. By posting one of the best three sectional scores in a region that includes Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Alaska and British Columbia, Colin earned his place at Safeco.
Prior to the June 17 game between the Mariners and Giants, the 12 boys and 12 girls in the competition met some of the Seattle players. The competition followed the game.
Richard Biggs, Colin's dad, said Colin was faster than the two others in his age division running from second base to home plate.
Pitching -- which had each competitor throw six pitches at a target 45 feet away -- was the most fun, according to Colin. He and his two age-group competitors each hit the square target with four pitches.
For the hitting contest, each competitor got three swings to hit a ball off of a tee for distance and accuracy. An outfielder and part-time pitcher who now plays for the 14-U DeMarini Stealth, Colin made solid contact and hit line drives into the outfield, but didn't make the power swing needed to win the contest.
"I needed more distance, more air under the ball," Colin said. "I hit it in a straight line. In a competition like this, you don't want to hit line drives."
Though he won't be moving on to represent the Mariners during the All-Star Game, Colin said he was thrilled with the opportunity.
"It's a lifetime memory," he said.