At 13 years old, Mavrick Nelson should be enjoying his first summer of Babe Ruth baseball, but that’s not possible in New Salem.
“This year we didn’t have enough kids, so we had to put them all in Legion,” Nelson said.
So that means Mavrick is playing in a league designed for kids who are much older and more physically developed.
“It’s a lot faster, and the bases also get spread out,” Nelson said.
While the odds are stacked against kids like Mavrick, head coach Ty Deutsch says a Legion trial by fire can actually be beneficial.
“I think for a lot of them, they gain confidence from playing up to a higher level,” Deutsch said.
And Mavrick would agree.
“It’s a little challenging being with the big kids, but it also helps for when you do get into Legion, you’re ready and you know what you’re doing,” Nelson said.
Because of his age, Mavrick isn’t being asked to take on a big role this summer. But he says he’s happy to do whatever he can to help the big kids.
“This season is mainly for experience going into Legion,” Nelson said. “If I get to play some bigger spots that’d be great, but it’s mostly for experience.”
Nelson says it’s very possible that New Salem gets a Babe Ruth team next year, but until then he’ll keep challenging himself in Legion.