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Little Leaguer earns $20 for hitting it out of the park

Kyle Martin says home run was for his grandparents
By: Jim Lindsau, Placer Herald Sports Editor
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Home runs in baseball are fascinating, but they are not that unique. However, certain circumstances can make a four-bagger a story worth telling. Kyle Martin plays for the Rocklin Little League Juniors Yankees. The Yankees finished the regular season at 9-16 and well back in the Lincoln-Rocklin-Tri-City standings, but Martin?s home run this season was worth telling ? at least his grandmother thought so. Hitting a home run in the Juniors? ballpark at Twin Oaks Park is a feat in itself. The Placer Herald checked with Rocklin Little League officials and they said only three baseballs had been hit out of the park this season. The Majors are capable of jacking three over the fence in a single game. But what made Martin?s dinger on May 18 unique was the $20 he earned for doing so ? an incentive his grandparents gave him early on. ?I forgot about that,? Martin said, whose grandparents made the offer over a year ago. Of course, home run hitters in the major leagues get paid millions of dollars for smacking the long ball and Little Leaguers play for the love of the game. Grandparents often make those offers both for the love of the game ? and their grandchildren. ?That was kind of a standing offer,? said Crystal Krohnert, Martin?s grandmother. ?Other grandparents do it also.? In which case, the Junior players made about $60 this season. Krohnert brought the feat to the Herald?s attention because she had been told only two runs had ever been hit out of Twin Oaks Juniors Ballpark. Although, that wasn?t the case it was still a story worth telling. At 5 feet, 10 inches and 145 pounds, Martin makes a good shortstop, but won?t get rich hitting baseballs out of Twin Oaks Juniors Field. His real incentive is the enjoyment of the game. ?I have a good attitude when I go out to play,? said Martin. ?I try to keep my teammates upbeat.? Home runs will do that. As for the Krohnerts, they are very proud of their grandson ? home run or no home run. However, they are people of their word. ?Yes,? said Krohnert,? I made good on my offer and (Martin) was $20 richer.? Martin, 14, is a freshman at Rocklin High School.