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Plant City Observer Friday, Jun. 16, 2017 1 year ago

Athlete of the Week: Deven Gonzalez

Deven Gonzalez hit five home runs in the Cooperstown Dreams Park Tournament.
by: Justin Kline Sports/Associate Editor

This year’s “golden ticket” team, the Plant City Raiders, were one of 104 teams kicking off the first week of the Cooperstown Dreams Park Tournament. The team was able to pick up some big wins in upstate New York thanks to several strong performances from the group of 11-year-old boys. Shortstop Deven Gonzalez led the way with five home runs and a .409 batting average throughout the tournament.

Know someone who deserves an Athlete of the Week feature? Email Justin Kline at [email protected] by the Friday before the next issue.


How was the Cooperstown experience?

It was really good. I liked it a lot. I liked playing other kids from around the country.

I know it was your first time up there, but it looks like you weren’t very nervous at the plate.

I wasn’t really nervous. I felt really confident I was going to do good.

What was the best moment of the tournament for you?

Hitting my first home run in Cooperstown. It was 10-8, I hit a home run and there were two people on base.

It sounds like Cooperstown is a pretty fun place for you guys off the field, too. What was the most fun you had between games?

Trading pins was really fun. I was trying to get mostly every pin. I have 60 pins.

What advice would you give to another Cooperstown first-timer in the future?

Be confident at all times, and just be ready.

How long have you been playing baseball?

Since I was 4. I’m 11 now. My parents got me into baseball. I liked to play with other kids, to have fun on the field.

What positions do you play, besides shortstop?

I play second base, and sometimes I pitch.

Which is your favorite?

I like shortstop the best. I feel like you’re the captain of the infield. You get to call anybody off, and stuff.

Who’s your favorite Major League Baseball player?

Javy Baez, from the Chicago Cubs. I like the way he plays.

What would you want to do if you could hang out with Javy for a day?

Probably tell him to give me some tips on how to field. Any tips to play shortstop.

What’s the best baseball advice a coach has given you?

To never show attitude on the field. If I strike out, or commit an error, I just know I can make the play next time. I can do it next time.

Is there any sport you’ve never played but want to try one day?

I’d like to try soccer. I’d play forward, striker.

What’s the coolest thing you’ve ever done on a baseball field?

This one tournament, there was this really fast kid at the plate. He hit one to second base, I dove for it and I got it. I threw him out.

Which MLB team would you most like to play for when you get older?

Either the Boston Red Sox or the Cubs.

What’s the first thing you’d buy with that MLB contract?

Probably a house for my parents.

Justin Kline is the Sports/Associate Editor at the Plant City Observer. He has been covering all things sports-related in the Winter Strawberry Capital of the World since 2013.

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