Strike up a conversation with Jett Hamik and it will inevitably turn to baseball. The 11-year-old Ashland Middle School student is passionate about the game. He works hard to improve his skills and to be a vital member of his team.
Michael Whelan, the president of Ashland Little League, who helped coach Jett, admires the young man's toughness.
"Jett is the definition of a scrapper," Whelan said. "I don't know how many games he played with injuries that would have sent other kids home. If Jett can stand up, he will play."
Jett smiles big and his eyes light up when he admits the game is his driving passion.
"I love baseball. I just love it," he said.
Bryon DeVore, who also coaches Little League, said he appreciates Jett's energy.
"It's been a pleasure joining Jett at the baseball fields the past two Little League seasons," DeVore said. "His infectious smile and enthusiasm for whatever he's doing are simply fun to be around."
Hamik spoke with the Daily Tidings a few days before a trip to see the Oakland A's play.
DT: What grade will you be entering in the fall?
DT: What are your favorite subjects in school?
JH: Science because we get to do a lot of different stuff. I like the experiments, like playing with dry ice and stuff.
DT: What is your favorite summer activity?
JH: Baseball. Now that baseball season is over, I play catch a lot in the yard or play out in the field with my dad.
DT: Talk about baseball.
JH: I've been playing since I was 5 years old. I like the competition and playing with friends. My favorite position is catcher. Catching is fun because I get to touch the ball almost every play.
DT: Do you ever get injured?
JH: Yeah, a lot. Well, not a lot, but yeah. Once, when I was running, the top of the bat got me in the face, busted my lip.
DT: Do you have a favorite team?
JH: Boston Red Sox.
DT: Do you have a favorite Red Sox player?
JH: David Ortiz. He plays first base.
DT: What do you want to do when you grow up?
JH: Play in the MLB and then coach like my dad.
DT: Talk about something you have done that makes you proud.
JH: Being a counselor at Vacation Bible School for the first time this summer was fun because I got to interact and help with the little kids and they liked playing with me.
DT: Talk about something that is challenging for you.
JH: Playing with older kids in baseball challenges me to do better. I want to work on hitting.
DT: Tell us about someone in your family who makes you proud.
JH: I love everyone in my family; it's too hard to choose. I'm glad everyone is part of my family.