Not just one, not two, but three Cooperstown Youth Baseball Hall of Fame rings adorn Brandon Hyatt’s fingers, after the 11-year-old returned from a national tournament slot last week.
Hyatt was selected for the third consecutive year to represent Arizona at the Cooperstown National Baseball Tournament, in Cooperstown, N.Y., baseball’s birthplace and home of the weeklong showcase.
“It’s an honor to hang out with your friends, sleep with your friends and eat with your friends,” said Hyatt, the sole Tucson player among the camp-style atmosphere.
A week before departing, the catcher and first baseman quickly discovered a new talent on the diamond — pitching.
“Everyone’s arm was hurting, so they tried me,” Hyatt said.
The Continental Ranch Little Leaguer didn’t disappoint. He tossed 12 innings over four games, tallying two wins and 12 strikeouts. The efforts lifted his team, the Easton Dirt Devils, to a 28th place finish out of 98 teams.
Hyatt’s father, Richard, credits longs hours with the Tucson Baseball Academy for shaping up Brandon’s skills and making him a complete player.
“He’s got the heart for it, and the organization helped him to get where he’s at,” Richard said.