- The Washington Times - Monday, June 9, 2008


Giants shortstop Emmanuel Burriss

Q: As a kid, did you ever think about not being able to play baseball in your hometown because there wasn’t a team here? (Burriss, a graduate of Wilson High School, is the first product of a D.C. public school to reach the majors since Vince Colbert debuted with the Indians in 1970.)

A: The biggest thing I thought about, whenever I thought about playing, is playing for the Orioles. I started thinking about it more so in high school and college, when you get a grasp of where you are and what the limitations are.

Q: Is it easier to get a community linked with baseball when there’s a major league team in town?

A: You would think so. I say this a bunch, and I don’t know if anybody’s ever heard me say it, but a good idea would be to start with the young kids, maybe a toddler program or 5- or 6-year-olds. Now that they have a team here, they can grow up with that passion for baseball like I did.

Q: What were your facilities like at Wilson? Were you just playing on the football field?

A: Pretty much. We didn’t have any dirt in the infield. We were pretty much playing on grass. It was like that through the whole city. All the public schools, the fields there are pitiful. That’s a big reason why a lot of the talented athletes went to go play other sports.

Q: Does it send the message that the game isn’t that big of a deal?

A: Oh, yeah. That’s what it came down to. I’m sure that’s why there haven’t been any baseball players here in the city. It doesn’t seem like a priority.

Q: Do you hear much from coaches in the city saying, “You showed these kids there’s a way it can be done?”

A: I feel like it’s a great opportunity because for me, growing up, I didn’t have an experience watching anybody from my city. I always thought if that could be me, it’d be a tremendous opportunity for me and the city.

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