It was one of the sports moments of the year. Bryce Harper hit nine home runs in 10 swings to stage a dramatic rally to win the MLB Home Run Derby.
Mesa’s Edgar and Jorge Febres were in attendance at Nationals Park in Washington D.C., watching the drama unfold.
“The stadium was on fire,” said Jorge, a 14-year-old who’s planning to play in high school at Red Mountain High School. “It was crazy.”
“(The stadium) was about to fall apart,” said Edgar, Jorge’s dad. “So much energy. It was beautiful.”
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Jorge even got to be on the field, and take swings in the same batter’s box as Harper. He competed in the MLB Junior Home Run Derby on Saturday.
“I went to regionals, for my second year. I did not win the first time. I did it for my second year. I won the locals. I won the regionals. I got the opportunity to compete in the Junior Home Run Derby,” said Jorge, still beaming from the opportunity. “I hit eight home runs but there was a kid who hit 18.”
“He set a new record,” added Edgar.
Jorge grew up playing Four Peaks Little League. He currently plays club ball for Sandlot Baseball and his next step will be to play for the Red Mountain High team. He has many goals, including bringing the story full circle, returning to the All-Star Game and Home Run Derby as an MLB player.
“It’s always been my dream since I was a little boy,” said Jorge.
“It was kind of the realization of a lot of effort he put into what he’s been doing,” said Edgar. “Confirmation he’s on the right track.”
Edgar and Jorge took the time to speak with Arizona's Family on the National Mall, in between the Capitol and Washington Monument. Even on a day off, basking in the glow of an opportunity of a lifetime, Jorge was focused on his future.
“Never stop working. There’s going to be people who are better than you but that’s no excuse for people to outwork you,” said Jorge.
That’s a Derek Jeter quote that I take to heart.
You can see Jorge’s Home Run Derby Performance here.
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