It Never Hurts To Ask For What You Want

Student who wants to be a pitcher gets response from Diamondbacks

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When Frontier Elementary School fourth-grader Miguel Mendoza's teacher asked him to imagine what toy he would want for being the one millionth customer in the local toy store he didn't have to think very long.

"I want a radar gun," Mendoza wrote in answer to fourth grade teacher Cynthia Chovich's daily writing prompt to her students.

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With the glove the Diamondbacks sent him, Miguel Mendoza winds up for a pitch.

"It took me by surprise," Chovich said.

PlayStations and XBoxes were the top choices for most of her students.

Mendoza wanted a radar gun so he could learn how fast he can pitch a baseball. He dreams of seeing his name on the back of a professional baseball jersey someday, playing shortstop or second base, because "you get the ball a lot and so you get to play a lot," he said.

"Miguel is an all around great athlete and an outstanding straight A student," Chovich said.

On the philosophy that it never hurts to ask, she wrote a letter to the Arizona Diamondbacks.

She asked the team members if it would be possible for Mendoza to visit the ball field during spring training or a home game and throw a few pitches. She explained the request for a radar gun and her surprise at the student's enthusiasm for baseball.

The Diamondbacks responded immediately. The team sent Mendoza a Diamondbacks glove, a poster and some magazines.

They also extended an invitation to Mendoza, his parents and 10 brothers and sisters to attend a 2006 game.

Mendoza has chosen the Diamondbacks vs. the Chicago Cubs as the game he wants to see with his family.

"We'll remember to watch for Miguel in the Big Leagues," wrote Karen Conway, senior director of community affairs for the Diamondbacks.

The Yankees are Mendoza's favorite team because of all the different players they used to have like Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle.

"I like Derek Jeter now. He plays shortstop," he said.

David Vaughn, the D.A.R.E. officer assigned to Frontier Elementary School by the Payson Police Department, promised to take the time soon to aim one of the department's radar guns at Mendoza's pitch to see how fast he throws.

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