Garcia shows off skills in New York

By: Russ Edmondson News Messenger Sports Editor
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Lincoln resident Isaiah Garcia, 12, swung a very hot bat during a recent baseball tournament in Cooperstown, N.Y. Isaiah, who plays travel baseball for the Rio Linda Warriors, batted .776 with three homers, eight doubles, two triples, 14 steals and more than 20 RBI (runs battered in) during seven games at the Cooperstown Classic in New York. The tournament ran from Aug. 28 through Sept. 4. The Warriors are a year-round baseball team, playing tournaments throughout the year. The team is not affiliated with any school. Isaiah was at shortstop most of the time and pitched as well. The Warriors won both games on the first day of the tournament, Isaiah slugging a grand slam and a three-run homer in the first game and picking up a homer and a double in the next one. Playing baseball for Lincoln Little League since he was 3, Isaiah said that he is with the Warriors because Lincoln doesn’t have a travel team for his age group. Knowing two players on the team from other tournaments, he tried out for the Warriors on Aug. 7. Isaiah, a seventh-grader at St. Josephs in Auburn, spent a day at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown with the other tournament participants. “The difference from then to now, how they played compared to how we play it,” said Garcia about what struck him visiting the Hall of Fame. “All the people like Babe Ruth, all the famous people and you actually get to see them and there are plaques. Jackie Robinson and Roberto Clemente and everybody. “It was kind of special because I got to see how fortunate we are. They have this culture (exhibit) and you see the (equipment) that the players from Mexico and Latin America had to play with. And we have all this high quality stuff.” Garcia’s parents, Jessica and Raymond Garcia, were unable to make the trip to Cooperstown with Isaiah. “That’s the beauty of this team – he was one of the kids that didn’t have family going with him and they were such nice people and they took care of him,” Raymond Garcia said. “And everyday they let him call and tell (us) how he did . . . And I got to watch a lot of the games online and I bought a couple videos.” Raymond Garcia said some Lincoln community members helped fund the trip. “I was born in this community . . . and a lot of people knew he was going to Cooperstown and financially, they kind of helped us and it was kind of community thing,” Raymond Garcia said. “It was a big life experience (for Isaiah).” Isaiah had never traveled on his own before. “It was kind of fun but a little scary without my parents,” said Isaiah, who also plays basketball. “I thought there were not too many better teams (then the Warriors). Mainly the California teams were the best (a San Diego team won the tournament) and besides them there was a good team from Long Island.”