Trevor Gretzky is On to the Next One

 

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With third-baseman Kris Bryant being promoted to class-A Daytona, the promotion of outfielder Trevor Gretzky seemed to be set on the back burner. While with YOUR Boise Hawks Gretzky hit .256 with six RBI and left this morning, August 13, with an 11-game hitting streak at Memorial Stadium. With the buzz around rumors of Kris Bryant being promoted, the move of Gretzky was kind of a shocker for some. 

“I had no idea. I was very happy and excited to move up and keep working.”

Coming into the 2013 season Gretzky struggled to get his average up. After five appearances for YOUR Boise Hawks, he was hitting .138 with just four hits out of nineteen at bats.  Hitting Coach, Bill Buckner, was a big help in getting Gretzky to where he is today. “I’ve been working with Buck for the last year and a half. He’s helped me a lot, especially with my approach.”

With fielding it was a matter of timing. “I didn’t feel like I struggled, I was confident all year, I was just waiting for my opportunity because of all of the talent we have had in the outfield.”

Now that the opportunity has come, Gretzky says that he will miss his Host Family, Lisa and Steve Capps, as well as all of the people he met that work at the stadium. “And the Hawks Reading Tree of course.” 

We wish you the best and good luck in Kane County!

YOUR 2013 ALL-STARS

 

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The 2013 Northwest League (NWL) All-Star team was announced yesterday, July 25, with eight of YOUR Boise Hawks gracing the roster. Out of the eight on the roster, four of them will be in the starting lineup including catcher Lance Rymel, first-baseman Jacob Rogers, second-baseman Danny Lockhart, and designated hitter Yasiel Balaguert. The other four, including outfielder Shawon Dunston Jr., utility-man David Bote, and pitchers James Pugliese and Tyler Bremer, will be on the reserve list.

Rymel, a 28th round pick of the Cubs in the 2012 is hitting .307 with eight RBI on the season and is one of the top defensive catchers in the NWL.  Rogers, a 40th round pick in 2012, is tied for the league lead with 27 RBI and ranks second in the league with five home runs.  Lockhart, a tenth round pick of the Cubs in 2011, is hitting .311 with 16 RBI and has four three-hit games this season.  Balaguert, a free agent acquisition in 2012, is hitting .265 with four homers, eight doubles, and 27 RBI.

YOUR Boise Hawks coaching staff will also be participating in the game. With the Hawks winning the then East Division pennant last season, the south squad will be coached by Manager, Gary Van Tol, Hitting Coach, Bill Buckner, and Trainer, Jonathan Fierro.

This will be the first NWL All-Star game since 2004. The game, presented by Tulalip Resort Casino, will take place In Everett, Washington at Everett Memorial Stadium on Tuesday, August 6. There will be other events taking place such as a Homerun Derby, All-Star Fan Fest and an All-Star Luncheon at Tulalip Resort Casino, featuring guest speaker Jack Zdurencik, General Manager of the Seattle Mariners.

All-Star Tickets are available now online, in person at the AquaSox offices, located at 3802 Broadway, and over the phone at 425-258-3673. Your All-Star Game tickets include admission to the All-Star Fan Fest and Home Run Derby, as well as the game. Ticket prices are $15 for Upper Box, $17 for Field Box and $20 for Diamond Club.

Back in Boise with Eddie Orozco!

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Fan favorite and winner of the 2012 Boise Hawks Community Award, Eddie Orozco, is making an appearance back in Boise. Orozco has been on the disabled list for Kane County since June 11 with an inflammation in his right elbow. He flew in for the series against the Hillsboro Hops and made his first appearance back with YOUR Boise Hawks Wednesday, July 17. 

Orozco went one inning with three strikeouts, no hits and no walks in his returning debut with YOUR Boise Hawks. He was 3-3 with a 4.87 ERA for the Cougars before being sent down for rehab. Last season here in Boise, Orozco went 2-1 with a 1.95 ERA and six saves.

While in Boise Orozco plans to get back in game shape and see how his elbow responds to game action. With rehab and recovery at the top of his list, he is also excited for a visit. “I’ve missed the city, the people and the memories of last year.” 

Orozco spent much of his off season with family and friends while also working towards this season. “I did a bunch of golfing and fishing, just tried to relax for the first two weeks but started working and preparing the first of November trying to add weight that I had lost in Boise.” 

Off season is hardly time off. From workouts and mechanics to eating just right, it is nothing but work. “I started out just lifting and eating with minimal cardio until December when I started throwing.” In late January his routine switched to throwing bullpens and trying to get mechanically sound. “With the long layoff it takes time to get back into form. Bullpens were all out of the stretch.” Orozco focused on developing his change up and keeping his mechanics simple. 

We wish you well Eddie!

*Eddie will be making an appearance for the Hawks Reading Tree Friday, July 19th! Meet us down the first base line in Humphrey’s Hut while he reads a story to the kids!*

Family Competition

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Growing up with five siblings, and a mother who is more competitive than his father The Great One, Trevor Gretzky is used to competition both on and off of the field!

 

As a young boy Trevor took a shot at hockey but hung up his skates and turned in his stick for cleats and his baseball bat. “Ever since I was old enough to understand the game, I knew my goal was to be in the big leagues and win a World Series.”  For Trevor baseball seemed to come more naturally. “There was no hockey in Los Angeles. I played in New York but stopped at a young age.” Trevor still gets out on the ice occasionally but you can always find him at the ball field.

While practicing a different sport, Trevor has still taken a lot from his father, Wayne Gretzky, who got him started in baseball. If you ever stay to watch the post-game activities you will notice Trevor standing at the home dugout signing autographs until everyone has been talked to. “It was how I grew up, watching my dad. He always was and is one of those guys who takes his time to do those kinds of things. I’ve always respected him for that; he’s a big role model in my life.” Trevor also picked his stick based on his father’s liking. Easton came naturally as the brand of choice as his father used an Easton hockey stick. Trevor’s father introduced him to the baseball guys at Easton and he fell in love with their bats.

For those looking from the outside in, it may seem as though Trevor is living in a shadow but for him it’s not like that at all. “I don’t think about it like that. I go out and play the game that I love, I’m privileged to be in the position that I’m in now.”

Competition and being competitive is all part of that position. “That’s why you play the game. To win championships and knowing how hard all of the guys on this team worked leading up to this season fires you up to get out there and compete.”

Trevor Gretzky has some big shoes to fill but he is doing it in his own way.  “My father has always told me if you’re the hardest working guy out there good things will happen,” and that is just what Trevor Gretzky is doing with YOUR Boise Hawks.

Fun fact, if Trevor wasn’t playing baseball he would want to train dolphins.

Round 2 with YOUR Boise Hawks & Pacific Source

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YOUR Boise Hawks teamed up with Pacific Source once again to promote healthy choices and being active for the second year in a row. The 2013 Boise Hawks Baseball Camp took place over two days, June 27- 28 and brought out even more kids than last year. There were 110 participants and a team of 16 Boise Hawks along with Manager Gary Van Tol helping out.

 

Matt Iannazzo, pitcher for YOUR Boise Hawks, was the camp captain during warm-ups. “I loved seeing the kids have fun and enjoying the game that we take so serious day in and day out.”

 

The kids had the opportunity to work on stretching, hitting, pitching, catching, etc. There were 10 teams that rotated between different stations throughout the two days. From what I heard, the Radar machine was the favorite amongst the young athletes.

 

I had the chance to catch up with four of the youngsters while they were enjoying their team lunch at the conclusion of day one. Three out of the four claimed the radar was the best station while one little guy loved the catching station and praised his coach, Lance Rymel, catcher for YOUR Boise Hawks. Nicholas McDaniel, son of our team photographer, Scott McDaniel, and his friends, Ryan Baker, Peter Palavos, and Nathan Palavos are all teammates on the Yankees for the Meridian PAL.

 

The camp goers also got the chance for a little fun on the slip-N-slide, lunch with the players, and an autograph session on day two.

 

Check YOUR Boise Hawks social media sites for pictures from camp and for information on how you can sign up to participate next year.

 

 

Corbin Hoffner’s Small Town & Big Dreams

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Since the day Corbin Hoffner can remember he has wanted to play baseball professionally. His father, Bob, coached his older brother Kyle which is what sparked his interest in baseball at a young age. Coming from a small town has been Hoffner’s biggest struggle with the chance to show scouts what he was made of being slim to none. Going to St. Petersburg College in Clearwater, Florida gave him the exposure he needed to get the opportunity he has today in the Cubs organization.

While a college education was important to Hoffner, he couldn’t resist the opportunity to sign with the Cubs when they also offered him money to finish his college education later in life. Playing baseball as his job with the chance to continue with college later was just what he was looking for. “Having that opportunity was something that I could not pass up.”

Hoffner’s first year of college ball went as well as it possibly could. He went 5-5 as a starter with an impressive 2.50 ERA and 73 strikeouts in 72 innings. “My first year of college ball went really well. Meeting new people and living on my own made me grow up and become mature as a person. It was an experience I will never forget.”

As far as Boise goes, Hoffner is just about two weeks into his stay and says it has been great thus far. “I didn’t know what to expect but so far it has been really good.” Hoffner has made 2 appearances for YOUR Boise Hawks, one of which was here in Boise where he went 3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 BB and 4K.

Getting to this point has been a lifelong dream of Hoffner’s. “It has been a dream to play pro ball since I was a little kid playing tee ball, I have always wanted to play professionally.” Hoffner says his family has been the best support system throughout the years. “They are always there for me through thick and thin with whatever the situation has been.” Hoffner has 2 siblings, an older brother Kyle, a younger sister Carly, and his parents, Bob and Tammy. He is not sure if they will make it out to Boise but he knows they are trying to.

Hoffner is from Sebring, Florida, a little town in the middle of the state. He enjoys golfing, hunting, and playing ping pong with his buddies. His best advice to pass on is “Put everything you have into the game you love and have no regrets when you look back on it one day.”

The Dunston Men

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A common denominator when it comes to YOUR Boise Hawks is the fact that their father’s were the one’s to get them started in baseball. From playing tee ball to acting as the bat boy for a major league team, these boys started out with their father’s by their side. For Shawon Dunston Jr., baseball and life are one in the same between him and his father.

While it is hard to remember where it all began, Shawon Jr. says that his most vivid memory is acting as the Giants Bat Boy for the last two seasons his father, Shawon Dunston Sr., played. “Just being there with him everyday and seeing guys like Barry Bonds do what he did was pretty special.”

In the Dunston household, baseball is life. “My dad has related life and baseball together since the day I can remember.” When it comes to Shawon Jr., Shawon Sr. tries to help out mentally whenever he can. Shawon Jr. says the best advice his father has given him is “You’re in a lose lose situation. If you go 0 for 4 then you’re not good, but if you go 4 for 4, it’s because your father played. Just play hard, you are somebody and everyone is watching, so remember everything you do, people are watching close.”

Shawon Jr. started out with YOUR Boise Hawks last season but was sent back down to Mesa. Throughout the off season Twitter and Instagram posts told the story of his fight to get mentally prepared and come back strong for 2013. “While my father helped me mentally, physically I took it upon myself to work harder, put on weight, and to be prepared and ready once spring came.” While the season is just two games in, Shawon Jr. is batting .500 and proving himself on the field already.

While Shawon Jr. will not be able to see his Dad for Father’s Day as he is coaching the Giants against the Braves in Atlanta, his older sisters Whitnie and Jasmine drove down to meet him, “he’s pretty excited about that.”

Shawon Jr. says that his father has always told him he did not have to play baseball, but, “if you want to do what I did for a living, there’s going to be sacrifices you have to make.” Missing out on special days such as Father’s Day is definitely one of those sacrifices. One of his father’s favorite sayings is “you’ll have me now, but love me later.” I think that says it all.