Dylan Bartlett made it all the way to Wrigley Field at last year's Pitch, Hit and Run Competition. Courtesy Kevin Bartlett

May 4 was a beautiful day for the MLB Pitch, Hit and Run Competition at the Park but the number of competitors was down from last year. The event was to coincide with Little League Picture Day to maximize turnout. However, pictures were rescheduled due to conflicts. Nonetheless, Jake Adams and Dylan Bartlett were All-Around Champions and are advancing to sectionals in St. Charles.

The competition is free for boys and girls aged 7-14 and can lead to an appearance in the finals at this summer’s MLB All Star Game. Adams, aHinsdalenative, dominated the 9-10 year-old division. He was six-for-six in throwing strikes from 45 feet. He socked a ball off the tee 175 feet into dead center. However, he lost the sprint from second base to home. Mykal Waters from Oak Park did it in an amazing 6.5 seconds. Recreation Supervisor Rachell Entler said this was literally off the charts as the lowest time on the grading chart was seven seconds.

Bartlett, an Ascension School sixth grader from Forest Park, who advanced to competing at Wrigley Field last year, again displayed his baseball prowess. He threw three strikes, knocked a fly ball 195 feet and had the best time in the dash to home plate. If he can win sectionals this May 19, he’ll once again find himself at the Friendly Confines.

Although there were no female entrants, Entler said there is a girl’s softball division. “I wish more Forest Park kids would participate,” she said. Meanwhile, she’s planning more professionally-sponsored events, including the NFL Punt, Pass and Kick and the NBA Pass Shoot and Dribble competition. 

John Rice is a columnist/novelist who has seen his family thrive in Forest Park. He has published two books set in the village: The Ghost of Cleopatra and The Doll with the Sad Face.