Dreams come true for former Hayden baseball player

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Hyrum Formo

Hyrum Formo – and Now …

Hyrum Formo – Then …

Copper Basin News

Ever since he was five years old, former Hayden High School baseball player Hyrum Formo dreamed of playing professional baseball. After graduating in 2010 from Hayden and playing for Pima Community College in Tucson, Formo was selected in the 27th round by the Tampa Bay Rays organization in the June 2013 Major League Draft.

Formo, a pitcher, is in his second minor league season with the Rays. He started this season playing for the Rays’ advanced rookie league team in Princeton, West Virginia. In four starts so far this season, he is 1 – 0 with 15 strikeouts in 17.2 innings pitched. His strikeout to walk ratio is a remarkable 15 to 1.

Reaching the major leagues took more than talent for Formo, who was throwing in the low 90’s in high school (he throws in the mid 90’s now). Typically, a high school player who throws that hard should have no trouble attracting college recruiters and team scouts, but that was not the case for Hyrum. It took hard work, determination and perseverance to realize his dream.

“I was that kid did well and everything,” Formo said. “I wanted to go on (and play at the next level) but there wasn’t anyone around to see me play. I just had to go on and do it myself. I didn’t quit.”

Formo credited his parents for his success. His father, Robert, coached him throughout his youth. Along with Julie, his mother, the couple would travel most summers across the country so Hyrum could participate in tournaments and play competitive baseball. As expected, his parents “are very, very proud” of his accomplishments.

“I think they deserve everything in the world,” Formo said about his parents. “If it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be where I’m at.”

Playing professionally is a dream come true for Formo. He knows it’s not easy to play in a small town and get recognized. He believes there are several local area players who deserve a chance to play at the next level. Hyrum says he returns home when his season is over and has spoken to local coaches about his willingness to work with kids and share his knowledge.

“I want to help the kids (in the Copper Corridor),” he said. “I want to help out those kids who want to make it to the next level.”

Andy Luberda (750 Posts)

Andy Luberda began writing for Copper Area News Publishers (CANP) in February 2013 after working15 years in Healthcare Financial Management. Andy covers sports for eight high schools. His stories are published in the Southeast Valley Ledger, Copper Basin News, San Manuel Miner and Superior Sun. Additionally, he has written human interest stories and business profiles. In May 2012, he earned an AAS in Sports Management at Central Arizona College. Andy is currently earning a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from ASU’s Hugh Downs School of Communication. Andy is scheduled to complete his degree December 2014. He was born and raised in Des Plaines, Ill. In 1992, he relocated to Arizona. After a short return to Des Plaines in 1997, he returned to the Phoenix area two years later. He and his wife, Kelli, have three sons – AJ, Kyle, and Kade.


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