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Children From Military Families Get To Be Padres For A Day

Evening Edition

Above: Young children from military families got to practice their pitching, fielding, and batting at Petco Park on Friday.

A group of children from military families got to experience a day in the life of a San Diego Padre on Friday.

Eight-year-old Joe Rivera was one of the 36 kids ages 7 to 12 who participated in the private baseball clinic put on by the USO and Bank of America. He and the other children got to take turns pitching, fielding, base running and batting — just like the big league players. The participants learned from former players, including Damien Jackson.

Joe, whose father is getting ready to deploy to Bahrain, said he might want to be a catcher or a third baseman for the team when he grows up.

"I feel happy that I'm here, because I really am getting bored of sitting in the seats," Joe said. "And I'm right now on the field, but also I like watching the Padres."

Judy Forrester with the USO said the clinic attendees where chosen by participating in an essay contest.

"We got this precious essay back from a little girl who goes, 'You know, I'm not really a big Padres fan, but my dad is a huge baseball fan, and the Padres are his favorite team and he's deployed. So I really would like to a be a Padre for a day and send him pictures of me in a Padres suit on the field, so he knows I'm supporting him here at home,'" Forrester said.

The kids were also treated to a behind-the-scenes tour of Petco Park.

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