KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
August 20, 2018
Beckendorff Junior High eighth grader Jasial Kalapatapu got the chance to interview Houston Astros' third baseman/short stop and 2018 All-Star Game MVP, Alex Bregman.
In the Spring, Jaisal's mother saw a post on Twitter from SI Kids inviting students to apply to be "Kid Reporters," and he decided to go for it. "[To apply], I needed to write a 400-word essay about an athlete or sports team in the community making a difference, and then a 200-word essay about why I wanted to be an SI Kid Reporter, and then pitch two story ideas," Jaisal says.
Kalapatapu's main essay was about the significant impact that the Houston Astros had on the community following Hurricane Harvey. About a month later, he got the news that he made it.
After being accepted, Kalapatapu, a baseball and basketball player himself, specifically requested Alex Bregman as his interviewee. "I generally pitch all the stories that I want to do, and my editor (who works for SI Kids) considers them and if she agrees with the approach, she approves them and connects with the right people at the team for scheduling," he says. To make sure nerves didn't get the best of him, Kalapatu says he practiced giving the interview on family members so that he would be prepared.
ALEX BREGMAN, THOUGHTFUL AND THOROUGH
When Jaisal got to Minute Maid and met Alex Bregman, he was prepared with his questions for Bregman, who he says was very agreeable to talk with. "He was nice and gave thorough and thoughtful answers. He seemed to have a lot of self-confidence, but he didn't come across as arrogant. He was a really good person to interview. I appreciated him spending time with me despite his busy schedule," he says. Here's a snippet of the interview with Bregman:
How has being the All-Star Game MVP changed your life? Are you recognized more out in public? I don’t know if I’m recognized more than before in Houston, but definitely more on a national scale. When we’re out on the road, out in the community, more people know who I am.
Where on the road has it happened? L.A., Seattle—it’s happened in most of the cities that we’ve been to since the All-Star Game.
You grew up in a baseball family. Your grandfather was the general counsel for the Washington Senators, and your father played at the University of New Mexico. Were you always drawn to the game, or did you play other sports as well?
I’ve always been drawn to baseball. Ever since I was five years old, [when] my dad would bring a baseball card home from work, I just fell in love with the game. I’d play in the cul de sac with my mom and him, and it’s been fun.
At Beckendorff, Kalapatapuu is involved in theatre and choir, plays basketball, baseball, and piano, and represents BDJH on the Destination Imagination team. He says if he could interview any one in history, it would be the MLB legend Jackie Robinson, the first African American to ever play professional baseball.
"I've always been fascinated by not only his overall game, but his humble personality and the way he never lost his cool, even when people taunted and harassed him. I think that that would be a perfect interview," he says.
Jaisal doesn't know what his next interview will be yet, but he's full of ideas. Follow him on Twitter @SIKids_Jaisal to stay updated.