By Sgt. Christopher JohnstonAugust 14, 2013
FORT BENNING, Ga., (Aug. 14, 2013) -- "I started playing baseball when I was four years old. I loved it; it was all I did," said Staff Sgt. Khristopher Rodriguez, a native of Puerto Rico assigned to C Troop, 3rd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team.
Rodriguez said he excelled at baseball and was selected to represent his country as a young man playing the sport.
"When I was 15, we traveled to Columbia to play, and we went to Venezuela when I was 17," Rodriguez said.
He said he received a scholarship to play college baseball in Puerto Rico, but left college to join the Army.
"The Army doesn't have baseball, they only have softball," Rodriguez said. "I had to make a change and I really enjoy it."
Rodriguez, a unit supply specialist, came to Fort Benning in 2010 and made the post softball team. In 2012, he was selected to try out for the All Army men's softball team.
"I did really well last year, but in the last week of tryouts I wasn't hitting very well," Rodriguez said. "I didn't make the team, but I had a great time and learned a lot."
Rodriguez filled out the application to try out for the All Army team again this year, and was accepted again.
"It feels great to be selected again; it means I showed good potential last year," he said.
After Rodriguez's application was approved, it was then sent to his commander for his approval.
"I am extremely excited for him," said Command Sgt. Maj. Steven Q. Farr, 3-1 Cavalry's command sergeant major. "This is an opportunity for him to excel and escalate his skills to a very high level."
Farr said the All Army team isn't just about a Soldier's ability to play softball.
"They look at not only his skills as a player, but also Soldier skills to include leadership, teamwork and ability to adapt to different situations," Farr said.
Rodriguez is one of 25 Soldiers invited to try out for the team.
Tryouts begin Aug. 20, and last three weeks. Soldiers who make the team will spend the following week playing against civilian teams to get used to playing as a team.
"Then, the fifth week, we play the Air Force, Navy and Marines," Rodriguez said. "You play each of them three times and the best record wins the gold medal."
Rodriguez not only plays on the Fort Benning softball team, but he also plays on two local civilian softball teams which gives him plenty of time to practice and improve his game in hopes of making the All Army team.
"This is a goal of mine," Rodriguez said. "As a player, you always want to make it to the highest league that you can. In this case, being in the Army, the highest league is the All Army team."