Localstudent portrays baseball star

When Wyatt Eichhorst's teacher assigned a biography report earlier this year, he never dreamed where it might lead.

The Meneley Elementary School fourth-grader debated whom to feature in his report. There were several things to consider including, the report must be on a person associated with Nevada in some way and Wyatt would also be portraying his subject in an oral classroom presentation.

A family friend who happens to be a sports memorabilia enthusiast encouraged him to choose a sports figure. Wyatt figured this was a great idea as he is involved with a number of sports himself, including baseball, football, soccer and basketball.

Ultimately, Wyatt opted to feature former Douglas High School baseball star and major league pitcher Shawn Estes of the San Diego Padres in his report. Wyatt liked the fact that Estes attended C.C. Meneley and later Douglas High, where he too will attend one day.

Though he gathered information at the library and online, Wyatt was on a quest for more personal information to include in his report. On a whim, his mom contacted the high school to see if anyone there might have anything to share.

One thing led to another and before he knew it, Wyatt got a phone interview with Shawn Estes himself.

Before he spoke with the baseball star, Wyatt admitted to being both nervous and excited. He'd prepared a list of questions such as "Name some of your best qualities," and "Tell about a problem you've experienced in your life."

They talked about Estes' experiences playing baseball at Aspen Park, his wife and two children, his involvement with the Multiple Sclerosis Society, and his admiration for his father, T.C. Estes, who he says was his inspiration. Estes also talked about the batting cages at Aspen Park that were dedicated to his father this year.

Wyatt recalled that it was "pretty fun" talking to Estes, and that during their conversation he asked if it would be possible to send an autographed baseball. When the package arrived in the mail, it not only contained the baseball, but also an autographed baseball card featuring Estes when he played for the San Francisco Giants as an all-star.

In addition to sharing the memorabilia, Wyatt created baseball cards for extra credit and passed them out to his classmates during his presentation. His written report, oral presentation (which was done mostly from memory) and extra-credit project earned him an A+.

"It was a fun project," said Wyatt. "Probably the most enjoyable one all year."

Wyatt sees Estes as an inspiration.

"I want to try to pitch like him," he said.

"And to be a good and honest person," added his mom, Erin.

Wyatt agreed with a nod and a smile.

n Amy Roby can be reached by e-mail at RanchosRoundup@hotmail.com


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