Keegan Spomer to play in Disney New Year’s Baseball Classic
Most athletes are enjoying the holiday break, spending time with family and friends, while getting a breather from competition until after the new year.
For Alpena High School junior Keegan Spomer, he is enjoying the holiday break, but in a much different way.
Spomer will be representing Alpena in the Disney New Year’s Baseball Classic that is being held in Orlando, Florida in games beginning today.
Spomer is playing on the 18U Game Day USA team based out of Chicago, Illinois.
The current Wildcat earned a Golden Ticket to Disney after a spectacular pitching performance at the All Star Game Day Tournament held in Grand Rapids last July.
Spomer earned the ticket while playing travel baseball with the ThunderBay Blockheads as apart of their 13U team. Spomer earned MVP for one of the games which allowed me to go to an annual All-Star tournament that is held in Grand Rapids each year.
This past year, Spomer went to Grand Rapids representing the Alpena Wildcats.
College coaches and Game Day representatives were in attendance, watching and taking stats.
The scouts liked what they saw from Spomer and invited him to play on the 16U Disney team after Spomer tossed a gem, pitching six innings, while striking out 15 batters..
“I pitched some very good games while playing in Grand Rapids. I didn’t find out I got a Golden Ticket invite to Disney until about three weeks later when my mom received the email congratulating me on my performance and asking if I would play up on the 18U team as they felt I had the talent to,” Spomer said. “My family and I were pretty excited after receiving the email and we couldn’t wait to take advantage of this opportunity.”
Not only did Spomer twirl a gem on the mound, but he also displayed his talents in other areas of the diamond in Grand Rapids.
Spomer won the Home Run Derby, took second in the Golden Arm competition and his team won the championship after Spomer’s lights out pitching performance and earned a championship ring.
“I had placed second in the Home Run Derby the prior year and really wanted to take first place this year. I went in feeling stronger and more confident with each pitch. I was one of the few to hit over the second fence which gave me more points and the win,” Spomer said. “The Golden Arm competition was throwing three baseballs at a bucket on a stand from 60 feet away. I hit it twice and even cracked the bucket. This was my third year playing in the All Star Tournament in Grand Rapids. The first year we took second place and winning this year felt awesome. I told myself this was the year, going into that game. Throwing that final pitch and striking out the batter was an amazing feeling knowing I was finally getting that ring.”
Now in Orlando, Spomer is playing with and competing against some of the top players at his age from across the nation.
Spomer will be playing with teammates from Illinois, Wisconsin, New Jersey, Indiana, Kentucky, Iowa and Maine.
The games get underway today and the championship game will be held on New Year’s Day.
“I met my teammates and coaches for the first time yesterday morning at ESPN Studios. I’m excited to start playing. I would play year round if I could. Prior to the tournament, I’ve been taking swings off the tee into a net in my garage and throwing tennis balls off the garage door to work on fielding grounders. there were also a few opportunities to get into open gym at the high school to throw some pitches to a catcher and hit in the cages,” Spomer said. “Any opportunity I can get to play baseball is awesome, but this will be an experience of a lifetime. My hopes are to play baseball at the college level. It’s tournaments like this that help you get recognized. Alpena is a small town and school, but I have had some great coaches and of course my family that helped get me here. Representing them and the rest of the Alpena is what it’s all about.”