Passion for baseball never dies

Toddling behind his father through the thick uncut grass, his hands barely grasping his t-ball bat and mitt, Aaron Madrid began to fall in love with baseball. At first it was just something his father made him do, forcing him to follow in his passion for sports. His father continues to encourage him, but it is no longer forced.

“I feel like it’s part of me. It’s been part of my life for a while,” he said. “I don’t know what I’d do without it.”

Looking back, he is grateful that his father pushed him by constantly taking him to the park to catch fly balls and grounders. Through the countless hours spent together he improved not only his skills but developed a stronger bond with his father.

“He really kept me in baseball because he knew I had the talent to go somewhere,” he said. “He always pushed me — it was always about baseball.”

His father isn’t the only who sees Madrid’s potential.

“Aaron has the tools to play at the next level,” baseball coach Tony Angelo said. “He could be a D-1 player one day.”

According to Angelo, the fact that he has not been looked at by a college is due to the lack of scouts in the area. He finds it more beneficial for Madrid to attend Delta in the fall because he has a better chance of getting his name out to other colleges or being drafted.

While he is most praised for his position as catcher and his ability to read the game from behind the plate, he also stands strong at the plate. He has an overall league batting average of .500 and a total of 20 hits for the season.

Madrid dreams of pursuing a professional career, but knows realistically it might not be a possibility. Yet that isn’t stopping him from preparing if the opportunity presents itself. He is constantly working to increase his speed and perfect his fielding techniques for the next level.

“(If given the chance) I would go so fast,” he said. “I don’t want to stop playing baseball. It’s been in my life for too long to give up on it. I want to go as far as I can.”

If he never reaches his goal, he looks forward to pursuing a career in criminal justice as a cop.

While his future is uncertain he knows that baseball will always be a part of it.

“Even if I don’t make it anywhere I will continue to play baseball in pickup games,” he said. “It’s too much a part of my life and me to just throw it away.”