Demi Chaney, 14, stands on second base during the MLB Trailblazers Series in the spring. Chaney won MVP of the event and will attend the World Series. (Provided photo)
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Homewood teen to be honored at World Series

It couldn’t have worked out better for 14-year-old Demi Chaney, but she earned it.

The Homewood resident will leave for Houston Friday at the invitation of Major League Baseball. Chaney was chosen as the MVP of MLB’s Girls Baseball Trailblazers series in April in Vero Beach, Fla., so the league is sending her to see the Houston Astros and Philadelphia Phillies play Game 2 of the World Series on Oct. 29. 

Demi Chaney, 14, stands on second base during the MLB Trailblazers Series in the spring. Chaney won MVP of the event and will attend the World Series. (Provided photo)
Demi Chaney, 14, stands on second base during the MLB Trailblazers Series in the spring. Chaney won MVP of the event and will attend the World Series. (Provided photo)

The Astros are her favorite team. Shortstop Carlos Correa, a former Astro who spent this season with the Minnesota Twins, is her favorite player. Chaney and her family watched the playoffs hoping Houston would represent the American League and somebody other than the Los Angeles Dodgers advanced from the National League. That way, Game 2 would be played in Texas. 

“This is definitely No. 1 (in my list of baseball accomplishments),” Chaney said. “It motivates me a lot because a lot of girls don’t get this opportunity like I do. When I get invited, it’s saying ‘You’re one of the top girls.’” 

The Trailblazers event in the spring featured girls from all over the country, as well as Canada and Puerto Rico. The program is built around Jackie Robinson Day, named after the player who blazed a trail as the league’s first African American player in 1947. The objective is to provide playing, development and educational opportunities to girls who play baseball.

USA Baseball women’s national team Manager Veronica Alvarez, as well as current and former national team players, coached and observed the players. Kids played two games and the rest of the five days were spent in development and classroom work. 

“For me, (these events are) mostly about the experience because most of the stuff they do down there, I do here,” Chaney said. “I kind of know everything so it’s a lot easier.” 

Chaney was one of 96 players chosen to play at the Jackie Robinson training complex in Florida. She pitches and plays infield. She was later interviewed by Alvarez for a segment that aired on MLB Network. 

It’s not the first time Chaney has been in the spotlight. She’s a nationally-known player in the girls baseball world. She’s been in the game since she was seven, usually playing against boys. Her list of accolades is long. In fact, Chaney was invited back to Florida for MLB youth events in July and October. She’s been attending the league’s tournaments and showcases almost as long as she’s been playing. 

It’s gotten to the point that Chaney is a familiar face for some of the national team players and coaches. Other important baseball people know her well, too. 

Rachel Folden, a hitting coach in the Chicago Cubs organization, has worked a lot with Chaney. LaTroy Hawkins, a longtime MLB pitcher from Gary, Ind., has also helped in her development, Chaney’s dad Fred said. 

“It feels really good because they’re really big in the baseball community,” she said. “To have those people by my side feels good.” 

The trip to Texas will start with an MLB Play Ball event Saturday morning at the Houston Astros Youth Academy. After that, she’ll head to Game 2 to see the Astros host the Phillies. 

She’ll be called onto the field and announced to the crowd of 41,000-plus at Minute Maid Park, then get to take in the game as a fan.

“I don’t know (if I get to meet any players),” she said. “I hope I can.” 

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