Written by Matt Webb Tuesday, 13 July 2010 10:10
There have been many poor performances in sports history, but never has a player had a night this horrific. And it just so happened that 12-year old Keri Sterling’s nightmare of a game happened in front of a packed house at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California and a nationwide audience on ESPN. Due to her father’s contacts in the business world and his willingness to shell out a few hundred bucks, Sterling got the nod from Home Run Derby Manager Gus McFarland to start in Short Left Center Field. It was a decision that McFarland would soon regret.
The Diamondbacks’ Chris Young started off the night against the Home Run Derby fielders, and it wasn’t long before he hit a lazy fly ball Sterling’s way. Clearly nervous in her first Derby start, the young outfielder misjudged the fly ball by at least twelve feet, falling backward and bumping into another fielder in the process. That missed fly ball began what was a comedy of errors as the overmatched Sterling attempted to chase down fly balls from sluggers Corey Hart, Hanley Ramirez, Chris Young, Matt Holiday, David Ortiz, Vernon Wells, Nick Swisher and Miguel Cabrera. Her poor fielding display included running long distances with her left arm straight out and her right arm covering her face, turning her glove over the wrong way multiple times, and jumping to catch balls that were twenty feet of more over her head.
Even when Sterling was able to retrieve the ball, she was unable to throw it more than three feet towards the infield. By the time eventually Home Run Champion Big Papi made it to the plate for the last time, Keri Sterling had committed a record 37 fielding errors, and it would have been 39 had two of those errors not been incorrectly pinned on 8-year old Jake Lowery, the Derby’s 4th Mid Left Center Fielder.
“After a performance like that, we really have no choice but to make a move,” said Coach McFarland, “We just can’t afford to have a kid like her out there with such a glaring lack of any athletic ability whatsoever. We only have enough room for about 85 outfielders on this roster. I’m afraid that all the coaching and practice in the world wouldn’t help, clearly this young lady was just a loser in the genetic lottery. I’ve met with her and told her that sports are just not in her future, and that maybe she should take up piano or painting or Harry Potter books or whatever it is that those unathletic, nerdy kids participate in.”
“I don’t know what to say,” said Sterling’s distraught father, an account executive for a local State Farm office “I’m very displeased with this performance. We practiced for weeks in the backyard, and eventually I was able to toss up the ball and hit a few fly balls that almost made it out to where she was standing.”
TSC attempted to speak to Sterling herself following her record setting night, but she left the stadium crying like a little girl.