By Russell Sellers, Army Flier StaffMay 13, 2010
FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- For Coach James Montez and his Dixie Minor team, the Fort Rucker Blue Hawks, baseball is all about the fundamentals.
Those fundamentals were tested May 10 against the Abbeville Braves at Fort Rucker.
Unfortunately, the Blue Hawks players are still looking for their first win of the season after falling to the Abbeville Braves, 10-3.
Most of the players have faced moving from one post to another, so playing with the same group of teammates each season is almost impossible, according Montez.
"At this level, it's all about making sure they just enjoy playing the game," he said. "I try to teach them as much as possible about the fundamentals and especially try to make sure the first-timers want to keep playing."
The Blue Hawks are part of the 9- and 10-year-old division, but some have ambitions beyond playing on smaller fields.
"I want to go to the (Major League)," Blue Hawks' third baseman James Brown said. "I want to play for the (Boston) Red Sox."
Brown may know exactly what team he'd like to play for, but he's not partial to any one specific part of the game.
"I really like running, hitting, catching and sliding," he said. "We get to learn how to do all of that here. I really want to keep playing."
Montez has also made baseball a Family event. His son, Colby, is the pitcher for the Blue Hawks.
Colby, a New York Yankees fan, said his favorite player is Babe Ruth and he hopes to follow in "The Great Bambino's" footsteps.
"I really want to play for the (New York) Yankees," he said. "I really like pitching, but hitting and running are a lot of fun, too."
Coach Montez said he is pleased with the progress his players have made so far, but he still wants the team to do more.
"It's so great to see the kids so motivated to come out and play," he said. "They all look so happy, even when things don't go so well. It's a really great feeling."
While Montez spends a lot of time working with the players, he said parents have a lot more to do with the development of the children's skills.
"I really appreciate parents bringing their kids out to participate," Montez said. "It all starts with the parents, and it's so great to see so many wanting to help their kids stay involved and stay active."