The Jewish Link and The Humble Toast would like to recognize Aiden Merkin as this week’s Sportstar of the Week. The 9-year-old Yavneh Academy third grader was a key member of the spring TBO league 2/3 Twins team, led the BCFL 2/3 49ers team in touchdowns and interceptions, and is looking forward to playing and focusing on basketball when MGBL boys starts up in a few weeks. Aiden helped lead the Fall TBO 10U team to a championship in dramatic fashion.
Aiden, congrats on being recognized as this week’s Sportstar of the Week! Please set the stage for the final inning of the championship game.
I was at the plate with one out in the bottom of the sixth and we were down 3-2. I had gotten robbed with the bases loaded two innings earlier. So in the bottom of the sixth, I crushed a pitch and got a single out of it. Then I stole second and third. When I was at third, the number two hitter drove me in with a single and the number two hitter stole second and third!! So the whole team was just waiting for the power hitter to crush a pitch and win the championships. So we had won the championship. Game over.
Who is your role model and why?
My dad is my role model dad because he’s a nice person and he takes care of me and my sisters. I also look up to my grandparents and great-grandparents because they are always encouraging me and making sure I behave the right way.
What is your favorite sport?
Baseball is my favorite sport because Little League is so much fun. The most fun parts are: batting first in the order, catching a ball in the outfield, getting to pitch, being involved in a rundown, dancing around the bases, stealing home plate on wild pitches and having fun!
What is your pregame routine?
I like to listen to music in the car, and then have a catch with my teammates to get my arms loosened up. I also like to laugh and joke around because it reminds me to have fun.
What is your greatest sports accomplishment?
Down one run, I started a rally in the bottom of the last inning of our travel team championship game. We went on to win the game—TBO’s first 10U title since 2003. The whole team jumped around the field together.
What is your earliest sports memory?
Playing T-Ball in pre-k. The batting order was based on the number on the back of your jersey. (I barely knew how to play!)
Who is your favorite professional athlete?
Aaron Judge is my favorite player. He’s been on the Yankees since I started to follow them. It was so exciting to watch his home run race—he tied Roger Maris on my birthday! I was at the last game of the 2021 season when he hit a single in the bottom of the ninth to send the Yankees to the postseason. He’s also an incredible athlete, is nice to fans and he plays the game the right way.
What is your favorite sports memory?
In early Covid, we couldn’t see any friends, so me and my dad played cornhole on our deck every day. (He would kick my butt every single time.)
What is the best thing about being a Sporstar?
I get to have my picture in The Jewish Link! Also I can save this and look at it when I get older.
The Humble Toast Sportstar of the week will receive a $25 gift card to The Humble Toast. Please send nominees for an upcoming The Humble Toast Jewish Link Stars of the Week to [email protected].
By Jewish Link Sports Desk