Lyons: Wildcats catcher enjoys baseball trip of a lifetime

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Kevin Breaux didn’t quite know where he was going when he boarded a plane last week to Florida.

   Breaux, a soon-to-be 10th grader at East St. John High School, loves baseball. He’s been playing since he was 7 years old, starting with the St. John Warriors in the recreation department.

Now a rising sophomore at East St. John, he’s pretty good.

“He’s got great skills,” said Errol Manuel, a longtime baseball coach in St. John the Baptist Parish. “Nothing gets by him. He’s very solid.”

Breaux also plays in the New Orleans RBI League sponsored by the Urban Youth Academy. That’s Major League Baseball’s effort to spur the growth of baseball in the inner city and among minority youths.

The New Orleans organization has renovated several parks in the city, including Wesley Barrow Stadium, and holds a series of camps, tournaments and leagues for youngsters.

Manuel picked Breaux to go to a big one —  the second annual Elite Development Invitational at Dodgertown in Vero Beach, Fla.

Hosted by Major League Baseball and USA Baseball in conjunction with the Major League Baseball Players Association, the event gathered more than 200 youngsters ages 13-17 and a whole bunch of instructors from the major and minor leagues for a week of wall-to-wall baseball.

The hope is they go home loving the game even more.

Breaux did.

He also came home Monday with a new pair of cleats, some new work out gear and some new skills.

“I learned how to get faster and how to block balls and stuff,” he said.

“And they fed us whatever we wanted to eat.”

He said the coolest thing he did was knock a hit into the gap during one of the games. He also worked hard to get better.

“It was fun,” he said. “I learned a lot. I want to thank Mr. Errol for picking me.”

Lori Lyons is sports editor of L’OBSERVATEUR. She can be reached at 985-652-9545 or