One of Maricopa’s own youth baseball players is seeking help from the community to assist with expenses that have arisen from being selected to play in a national tournament in Florida.
Nicolas Barreras, 11, is one of four Arizona players selected in his age group to play in the ESPN World Wide Sports annual baseball tournament in Orlando Aug. 6-12. However, steep travel expenses associated with the trip are more than the family can afford, and could prevent him from participating.
To relieve the financial strain on his family, Nicolas has started multiple fund-raising campaigns. His efforts include selling T-shirts, starting a GoFundMe page and hosting a car wash.
The carwash to benefit Nicolas will be held Saturday, April 29, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. behind the Maricopa Arby’s at 21600 N. John Wayne Parkway.
All in, after airfare, lodging and food for both him and his parents, Nicolas’ family will need around $6,000 for the trip, according to past participants. Nicolas’ mother, Toni Barreras, is hopeful the multifaceted fund-raising efforts by her son will get him to the tournament.
“It was so unexpected,” Toni said. “We just took him to try out, and when he got it we were just like…(gasping).”
To be recognized as an All-American Player by the U.S. Specialty Sports Association, the organization that selected Nicolas for the tournament, is an extreme honor he does not take for granted. Nonetheless, for Nicolas this is more than just a competition.
“I was just so surprised,” Nicolas said. “To make friends and go [to Florida], I just think it’ll be fun.”
Nicolas is a renaissance man on the field, pitching, and playing first base and outfield. The latter, he said, is his favorite as he likes to show off with a diving catch from time to time.
Any help will mean a lot to him and his family, Nicolas said, and would help him pursue his dreams of becoming a professional baseball player.