For any ten-year-old baseball fan, having your favorite team make it to the World Series is great. Attending a game is even better.
Interviewing your favorite players and appearing on national TV is usually just a daydream on the way to the ballpark.
That fantasy became a reality for Parker Loescher of Amherst when the Open Door Christian School student won Chevrolet’s Youth Baseball Kid Reporter contest, which stretched across the entire Cleveland area. It called for entrants to create videos displaying their Cleveland Indians fandom, who their favorite players are, and why they deserve to win the contest.
Parker took a few minutes to speak with the News-Times on Tuesday as he along with his father, grandfather, and 14-year-old brother Bailey traveled to Cleveland thanks to the second part of the big prize — free tickets to game one of the series against the Chicago Cubs.
The Indians won 6-0 behind six-plus shutout innings from ace Corey Kluber and two home runs by one of Parker’s media day interviewees, Roberto Perez.
“My favorite players to interview were Yan Gomes and Roberto Perez,” Parker said. “It was so exciting getting to talk to the players instead of just watching the game. When I found out I won I was shocked and very, very happy.”
Selecting Gomes and Perez, two catchers, makes sense because Parker is a catcher for the Patriot Baseball Academy at Open Door.
“The Indians are why I love baseball,” he said. “They have fun no matter the situation and always play as a team.”
On his prediction for the fall classic, Parker said the Indians will win in six games with either Andrew Miller or Carlos Santana taking home MVP honors.
Cameras and reporters from MLB Network picked up some of Parker’s experience as well. His mother, Jessica Loesche, said excitement has reached peak levels around the family’s home after Parker interviewed 25 total players on media day.
“I don’t think my husband has slept in four days,” she said. “They were all walking on cloud nine when they got home. MLB Network even did a quick piece on Parker in its nightly recap.”
Parker’s father, Matt Loescher, has been Open Door’s varsity baseball coach for 16 years and has taught government, history, and media classes at the school for the same time period.
“There’s no words to describe what we’re getting to experience,” he said. “Monday and today have just been fantastic. Seeing my son out there interviewing Major League Baseball players and working his way through other media members with his microphone is unbelievable. Seeing him (out there) was just as exciting as going to the World Series. My wife was correct about my lack of sleep and I don’t see it changing anytime soon.”
He said the sudden windfall of championships and sports success for Cleveland in 2016 has made explaining past letdowns to his sons difficult.
“I’ve been a Cleveland fan in every sport my whole life,” he said. “To have all of this happen in the blink of an eye is surreal. One of my students told me today that if I fell asleep a year ago and woke up now, I would not believe what has happened.”
Ron Loescher, Parker’s grandfather, was born the week of the Indians’ last World Series win in 1948.
“Thinking about how long he’s gone since seeing times like this puts it in even greater perspective,” said Matt. “I don’t think my boys understand this isn’t the way things have usually gone for Cleveland fans.”
Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.
Courtesy Photos Ten-year-old Parker Loescher of Amherst poses in front of the Progressive Field scoreboard. After the Open Door student won Chevy’s Kid Reporter contest last week, he was granted access to interview players from both the Indians and Cubs and attended game one of the World Series with family on Tuesday.