PHILIPSTOWN, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Tae kwon do teaches discipline and hard work. Eight-year-old Jessie Tudor is using those lessons in baseball.
“When I do my punch, it’s kind of like how I throw a baseball,” she said.
And it’s taking her all the way to Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game festivities.
Jessie is one of thousands of 7- to 14-year-olds who entered MLB’s skills competition called Pitch, Hit & Run.
“Unbelievable,” said her father, Rodney. “When she started the first competition in Highland Falls, we never dreamed of this.”
“You have to run from second to home,” Jessie explained. “You have to throw six balls at a target. If you hit all six, that’s a lot of points.”
Which competition is her favorite?
“Hitting, because I can hit it really far,” she said.
She’ll get points based on how far she hits the ball on the fly.
Jessie helped lead her baseball team to the Philipstown Little League title. Her next stage will be a little bigger.
“I can’t tell you how proud I am of the hard work that she puts in,” Rodney Tudor said. “It goes back to the tae kwon do class. They teach a lot of the discipline and self-control.”
Plus during the Home Run Derby, she’ll be one of the kids in the outfield known as “the shaggers.”
“That’s going to be fun because I get to catch real baseball players’ balls,” she said.
“I’m hoping that she’s pretty far out there because Aaron Judge just crushes the ball,” her dad said. “It’s got to come off the bat at like miles per hour. She’s smart enough and good enough to stay out of the way of any ball that’s coming too fast.”
At this year’s Home Run Derby, Judge won’t be New York’s only young phenom.
Even though Jessie comes from a family of Mets fans, she’s a Yankees fan. Her dad says it’s only because her uncle corrupted her.