Behind the Bat That Conquered Rival Pitchers

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el-vaquero-staff-writer/" class="creditline">EMIN AVAKIAN
El Vaquero Staff Writer

On Sept. 2, 1985, a boy by the name of Daniel Lee was brought into this world. At the age of 5, he picked up his first bat and caught his first baseball with his first baseball mit. At the age of 16, he was leading all batters in batting average at El Camino high school. Today, at 18, he is one of the best hitters in the state.

Lee is just like any other teenager, except for the fact that he is a giant at the plate. He likes playing cards, watching movies and going to the beach with his friends. Being born and raised in California, Lee has had to endure hot summers. Due to the hot summers, Lee tried playing outdoor activities, such as baseball. However, at an early age, Lee became interested, and disinterested in the sport.

“I actually thought about quitting the sport when I was young,” Lee said. “I was just naive.”

Well, as it turns out, Lee stayed with the sport that he has come to be so gifted and talented in. Lee is not thinking about quitting baseball these days. When asked what he would be doing if not playing baseball,
Lee looked puzzled and replied, “I have not even thought about what I would be doing if I was not playing baseball.” He does know that baseball is what he wants to be doing as long as he can. His ultimate goal is to play college baseball, preferably for Pepperdine. He certainly has a good chance.

Lee, of course, is a big fan of Major League Baseball. His favorite player is Albert Pujols of the St. Louis Cardinals probably because they are both humble guys and never try to do anything extreme, like intimidate an opposing pitcher. His favorite team is the Chicago Cubs. He calls the steroid scandal very unfortunate and unfair to the “best sport in the world,” as he believes going to baseball games is one of the greatest experiences.

“Going to baseball games is pretty awesome,” says Lee.

For now, Lee is going to take the summer off, which he should
considering he has spent the last six summers training hard. His typical off-season includes hitting the weight room, running, swimming three hours a week and practicing hitting and throwing.

To improve for the upcoming season, as if there is much room for improvement, Lee says he will try to hit more powerfully while batting for average at the same time. Winning comes first with Lee, though.
“It’s all about winning,” Lee said. “I like our chances next year, this [Vaquero] team has good camaraderie.”

How can you hit like Lee? Lee says to just stay focused, practice and to take swings confidently. His advice to anyone who wants to get into
the sport is to just “stick with it.”

“There are going to be a lot of bumps in the road, and hardships that the players will go through,” Lee said. “Without failure though, you can’t learn from your mistakes and there will be no success.”
Lee had a memorable season and he will only get better.