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Pleasanton Weekly

News - March 9, 2012

A Giants thrill

School project leads to spring training

by Dolores Fox Ciardelli

Braxton Fletcher, 11, combined his love of baseball with a school project to visit the Giants in spring training in Scottdale, Ariz., last weekend and interview Manager Bruce Bochy.

For his sixth-grade language arts class at Pleasanton Middle School, Braxton was assigned to interview and perform an activity with a professional.

"He came home and said he wanted to interview Bruce," said his father, Pete Fletcher. "Both of us (Pete and mom Helia) didn't think it had a chance of happening but he was very determined. He made a few phone calls and they said, 'Yes.'"

Braxton prepared 25 questions but narrowed it down to 15 after he was told he would have 15 minutes for the interview. When he arrived at the stadium in Scottsdale on Saturday, he was given media credentials and a tour of the clubhouse before being led onto the field and into the dugout for the interview.

"You're not afraid of being interviewed by an 11-year-old, are you?" was his first question. This drew a laugh from Bochy, who replied that he was looking forward to it.

Other questions ranged from "What's your most memorable moment winning the World Series?" to "Tell me how you see the National League West playing out this year."

Bochy said his most memorable moment in the 2010 World Series was seeing Brian Wilson throw a strike for the last out that gave the Giants the win, adding, "It's every coach's dream to see it end that way."

And he'd like to see the National League West end this year with a victory for the Giants, "of course."

Now Braxton must turn the interview into a five-paragraph essay and create a six-minute Power Point presentation.

"We are very proud of him," said Pete Fletcher. "Braxton took the initiative to make this dream a reality."

After the interview Braxton was able to stay in the dugout to watch batting practice and meet players Nate Schierholtz, Pablo Sandoval, Brandon Crawford, Pat Burrell and Brian Sabean.

He returned home with pictures, autographs and once-in-a-lifetime memories -- plus a mighty good school project.


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