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Baranek: Brooke Hofer interrupts the writing process

Former Andrew pitcher Brooke Hofer. | File photo

Former Andrew pitcher Brooke Hofer. | File photo

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Updated: February 2, 2013 6:03AM



The softball field press box at Andrew High School is a great place for peace and quiet when you’re writing after a game, especially if the wood windows are closed.

I was figuring that to be the case on a late afternoon in May, while putting together a story on another Andrew victory. But my peace and quiet was interrupted by the “thwap!” of a ball hitting glove outside of the dugout below me.

It happened again. And again. I could hear voices. Finally, my curiosity got the better of me and I got up to see what was going on from the one open window in the corner.

When I looked down I saw Andrew senior Brooke Hofer giving pitching lessons to a young girl. I wasn’t sure who had the bigger smile, the teacher or student. It was evident, though, both were enjoying the moment.

“That was a 10-year-old girl named Mia Martinez. She never had even pitched a ball before we started (lessons) in the spring,” Hofer recently told me. “But she ended up pitching a lot over the summer for the Tinley Park Rockers, and now she’s one of two or three pitchers on that travel team.”

Hofer started giving pitching lessons when she was a junior at Andrew.

“It was a way to make some money and teach the younger girls the basics before they went off to bigger pitching coaches,” Hofer said. “And it actually helped me to go back to the basics and focus on the little important stuff that I sometimes forget about now.”

Hofer continues to tutor Mia, most recently spending part of her Thanksgiving holiday giving lessons in her basement.

“To form a relationship like that with a 10-year-old girl who is trying to follow in your footsteps — it’s really cool,” Hofer said.

I’m sure Mia will step well.



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