Cheney Free Press -



Johnny Palmer plays with passion

Of Cabbages and Kings


Luella Dow

Johnny Palmer plays third baseman for his team sponsored by Andrew Martinssen.

Here is Johnny Palmer, a boy who likes to set a goal and reach it. He knows the satisfaction of working hard for something worth having. At 9 years old, Johnny Palmer, son of John and Natascha Palmer, has earned the accolades of three baseball coaches who said, "He's an awesome third baseman."

Johnny remembers when he first started to play baseball. He said, "I was 5 years old. I was really nervous. The coaches told me to slam the ball out there. The bat was heavy to hold, but I did it. This is my dad's first year of coaching. Our team is sponsored by dentist Andrew Martinssen. We all have 'A. Martinssen' T-shirts."

Johnny said, "You have to guard third base so the fellow on the other team doesn't steal home or score for the other team. You have to tag them and then the umpire, we call him the 'ump,' calls him out. The object of the game is to get the other team out so you don't have to worry about them. If one person steals home, then the next person probably comes to third and the one on first will probably go to second and second base will go to third base. You can throw the ball, or if it comes to you, tag the base with your foot or you can tag the person and that makes an out."

You don't remember all this, we suggest you read it twice. Johnny Palmer moves fast!

"Right now," Johnny said, "I'm playing fastpitch. Another kid on the team pitches to me and all the other players on the team. One is my cousin, Cameron. He plays shortstop. I sometimes play catcher. I wear a mask and padding to keep me safe. I have a catcher's mitt and wear it so the ball won't hurt my hand as much. I throw the ball back to the pitcher. I really like being the catcher. If the catcher misses the ball, the base runner can steal every base and come home."

Does Johnny Palmer like other games? He plays some other sports all year. Occasionally he thinks of playing football later on. A college scholarship would come in handy. "I'll be at Hoopfest soon," he said.

Johnny's mother, Natascha, said, "We're an outdoor family. We all enjoy sports and playing." Johnny Palmer has two younger brothers, Conner and Jaxon. His sisters are Daisy and Annika.

Can you imagine a team composed of a talented family smiling at the opposing team as the family keeps winning and winning and ... hey, wait up! I'm still rounding third base!

Luella Dow is a Cheney-area author. She can be reached at


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