SIMPLY, they call him pigpen. Only the Charles Schultz character wishes he had as much athletic ability as Niles' Jeff Hosey.
The 13-year-old soon-to-be eighth grader at Niles Middle School is part of the 13-year-old Warren Athletic Conference Babe Ruth All-Star Team that is heading to Kentucky for regional play starting Friday.
"Cause I'm always sliding even if there's no play at the plate. I'm always sliding - getting dirty," Jeff said.
He's the catcher on this all-star team that scored 72 runs in four games to win the state tournament in Cambridge earlier this month.
"He's Mr. Energy," WAC assistant coach Bruce Hendryx said. "He's probably the dirtiest kids on the team by his own design. We've called him Pig-Pen on more than one occassion. He acts like a quarterback because that's what he is and that's what he's about.
"He is a baseball player. He breathes it and lives it. He loves the stuff."
Jeff played for the WAC 13-14 Babe Ruth Niles team prior to coming to the all-star team.
"During player for the regular season my coaches told them about it and I was all in for it," Jeff said."After the championship game, I was practicing for the all-star team."
Now playing for Niles means Jeff is part of a tight-knit system run by Red Dragons varsity coach Michael Guarnieri.
Wilder Field is usually more of a home to Jeff.
"Our high school coach has me down for catcher drills. I'm always out playing catch or playing ball somewhere," Jeff said.
He has set his goals high after leaving Niles.
"Just having fun, playing baseball," Jeff said. "I hope to be in Major League Baseball someday."
For now, he'll be one of the better 13-year-old athletes in this area.
And, Jeff will get as dirty as possible if it will help his team.
"You want a guy who can get down in the muck when you need him to," Hendryx said.
Well, he just likes to get his uniform dirty, too. They don't call him Pig-Pen for nothing.