LaSalle Girl Lives Baseball Dream at Detroit's Comerica Park
A LaSalle girl got to live her baseball dream last week and rub elbows with Tigers coaches and at least one of their star players.
Nine-year-old Madi Kaczmarski has been playing fastball since she was just three-years-old but she hopes to one day hit the baseball diamond and compete against the boys.
Her mother Rachel signed the diehard Tigers fan up for their Youth Camp this year. The camp split time between Detroit Country Day School in Southfield Township and Comerica Park.
Just one of two girls in camp, Rachel says officials took notice of Madi and she became the focus of an mlb.com feature by team reporter Jason Beck, "because we were driving over from Windsor every day and to just do the story for girls in baseball. It was really cool to have that opportunity while we were at Comerica Park."
Madi wore number 24 in honour of her favourite player, Miguel Cabrera, but it was another Tigers star that she got to spend the bulk of her time with.
"She happened to be in Nicholas Castellanos' son Liam's group for the week and the kids all got to meet Nick on the first day because he was there seeing his son and they got to see him at the ballpark, so it was really cool for the kids," she says.
During a Q&A, the corner infielder and fastball pitcher even wowed Castellanos with a question he didn't expect to hear from a nine year old.
"I asked how you block out the noise when you're hitting," she says. "He said that he, 'doesn't even hear it.'"
"I’ll be honest with you, Madi,” Castellanos answered. “I don’t really know, because I never heard it to begin with. Playing in the big leagues, to me, is no different than playing in this camp. I’ve always tried to hit the ball as hard as I can and score more runs than the other team.”
— courtesy of mlb.com's Jason Beck.
Detroit right fielder Nicholas Castellanos answers questions as part of Tigers' Youth Camp at Comerica Park on July 5, 2019. (Photo courtesy of Rachel Kaczmarski)
Rachel says Madi's goal is to play baseball with the boys — and after working with Assistant Hitting Coach Phil Clark — she doesn't doubt it's going to happen in the near future.
"She certainly kept up with the boys. She was actually the highest for bat speed in her age group, she had a 55mph [swing] and she beat out the boys that she figured were quicker than her," added Kaczmarski.
LaSalle native Madi Kazcmarski (centre) follows Detroit Tigers Assistant Hitting Coach Phil Clark (far left) out of the dugout at Comerica Park on July 5, 2019. (Photo courtesy of Rachel Kaczmarski)
Madi's been going to Tigers games since she was old enough to walk, so stepping onto the field was a dream come true.
"Going in the batting cages, it felt cool because you get to go down on the field where all the players go," says Madi.
The travel fastball player for LaSalle's Turtle Club tells AM800 News she hopes to be the first woman to play Major League Baseball and her mom says — if anybody can do it — Madi can.