A 15-year-old pitched for Team Brazil in the World Baseball Classic
What were you doing when you were 15 years old? Why did we even ask -- we know you were writing song lyrics on your binder while promising yourself you were gonna get out of this town. Don't be ashamed. We all were. Fun fact: That's not what 15-year-old Eric Pardinho is doing.
Nah, he's too busy for angst -- he's trying to help pitch his country into in the World Baseball Classic. He came in as a reliever during Team Brazil's 10-0 victory over Pakistan on Thursday.
"I first started to play baseball when I was on the beach," said Pardinho. "We were playing racquetball on the sand. My uncle was there, and he saw me playing, and he said, 'Oh, you can hit really well, you should play baseball.' That's how I was taken to the baseball field for the first time, when I was very little. And I liked it very much, playing baseball, and ever since I've been practicing in Brazil."
Earlier this summer, Pardinho appeared in the under-16 Pan-American Baseball Championship, in which he started against the Dominican Republic. He struck out 12 batters and got the win. Now he's pitching for Brazil in Brooklyn.
Pardinho entered the game after the first out of the sixth inning with Brazil leading Pakistan 6-0. He gave up one hit and one walk, but managed to get a lineout and a forceout to complete the inning. He was replaced by Edilson Batista at the top of seventh, but during his brief appearance on the mound, he accomplished more than most of us did during our entire adolescence.
"It was a great experience for me," said Pardinho. "I'm very glad to have this opportunity to have pitched for my country. Although it was just one inning, it was a great experience, and I'm very grateful for that."
He also believes we'll see more Brazilians in MLB.
"I believe that now with all the Major Leaguers from Brazil, and the players in Triple-A and Double-A playing here in the U.S., that baseball in Brazil will grow much more than before. Because right now we have people who we can look up and use as a model, as a goal for us. So I think baseball will grow a lot in the next few years," he said.