A few adjustments at the plate have made Levi Hammond a dangerous hitter at the plate this year.
The first-year Red Deer Midget AAA Brave worked to refine his swing and saw the dividends early and often this season.
As a rookie first baseman with the club, Hammond led the team with a .373 batting average. He had eight doubles, 25 hits and 17 RBI on the year.
“Really got to focus on the development of hitting. Dale Tillman and Jason Chatwood gave me some tips to focus on last year to be more efficient with my swing. I got to focus on that all year and it really helped a lot,” said Hammond, who celebrated his 16th birthday on Monday.
“I never knew it before but I was wrapping my bad behind my head. They had me change my load and hand positioning which helped me stay shorter to the ball and helped me hit more line drives. Which really paid off with more doubles.”
His strong play and a good tournament at a showcase in Montana landed the teen on Alberta’s roster at the Western Canada Summer Games starting on Aug. 14 in Swift Current. He was one of 32 players picked to go to Montana and then was named to the final roster of 20 for the Games.
“Should be good, another opportunity to gain some experience,” he said.
On top of playing high-calibre baseball, the Games experience as a whole is one that Hammond hopes to soak up as much as he can.
“I’m excited for the social side of it, besides our team, all the other athletes and sports there are should be good. See what Canada has to offer,” Hammond added.
At the Games, other sports include athletics, basketball, beach volleyball, canoe/kayak, cycling, diving, golf, rowing, soccer, softball, swimming, triathlon, tennis, volleyball and wrestling.
Alberta will play Saskatchewan and Manitoba on the diamond three times over four days, with the two tops teams playing for gold.
“I’ve never really gone anywhere expecting much. Everything is kind of a bonus. I’m just going there, hopefully, to win, but for a good time,” Hammond said.
The Games get underway on Aug. 9 and wrap up on Aug. 18.