It was a pleasure to be invited to the baseball clinic this weekend. Beginning with Friday with the press conference and introduction of the coaches, which are professional and retired players and baseball enthusiasts. Then on Saturday, was the actual baseball clinic held at the local baseball stadium where I observed the coaches practicing skills with the kids. There were between 70-75 boys and 1 girl, in the ages of 10 to 16. The reason for this age group is because they can focus on their skills. Under age 10 they found that their focus is not as keen, but once they turn 10, they are very welcome to attend. There had been 125 to 150 in the past and this time they expected 70 to 80. They said even if 1 kid shows up, it’s all worth it.
There were several different “stations” set up. Pitching, batting, catching, fielding etc, with small groups, so the kids will benefits from the instructions. When I arrived to take photos at the fielding station, I watched one boy throw the ball from 50 feet directly through an old tire, it was fast and accurate every time.
The reason for this baseball clinic in Rocky Point, is to pass the word to kids, boys and girls, that they can reach their dreams and goals. If they want to be a professional ball player, or just be involved in a healthy sports activity, this is their opportunity to get off the streets and into an organized group that believes in them. This clinic was founded over 11 years ago and has gone through several changes. Now that after 2 years of Covid has kept the clinic away, the coaches are regrouping to build a solid foundation to get this clinic back on track.
Kudos go to all the volunteers, and the head coach is Pete Hartman, a professional ball player of 15 years. Pete told me that everyone has a job to do, from the coaches, equipment organizer, photographers, social media and more “positions” make the difference, plus all the behind the scenes people who support and donate equipment and money to the cause. There are the families who support the coaches to the families who bring their kids to the field to observe, and then there are the condo owners who have donated their condos for a couple nights for the coaches and their families.
Pete had just met with Puerto Peñasco’s Sports Director on Saturday to donate equipment to the city’s baseball program. Pete said that anyone can donate, just when you’re at a yard sale or Goodwill, if you see any baseball gear, you can let someone know and it can be picked up and brought to Rocky Point, unless of course you could use a trip to the beach and deliver equipment yourself.
The baseball clinic is being called “Grupo Deportivo Para Puerto Peñasco” and will soon have a social media outlet where information can be found to donate or come to an event. The LLC will be worked on between Mexico and the U.S. so donations will be a tax write off.
At Friday’s “meet and greet” there was a panel of 10 fielding questions from the audience of family, friends, media, and invitees. They mentioned that a good goal would be a 2 day clinic to accommodate more kids. This whole thing is very exciting because it will give kids a good path to follow, keep them off the streets, they can tell their friends and clinics teach them good sportsmanship, punctuality, teamwork and a sense of belonging. There was a family from the Phoenix area drove down this weekend to have their 2 boys join in the clinic, and further South, a bus full of kids left at 2AM and arrived early, waiting for the gates to open.
After about 4 hours of clinic time, there was fun time where the kids got to play wiffle ball and suddenly were reenergized and had a great time for another hour. I bet they had a nice siesta when they got home.
Another huge supporter is Jose Flores from the BooBar. He told me that it is OK to let everyone know it’s fine to contact him so he can pass the word once the Facebook page is completed, plus if anyone has photos of clinics in the past, send to him so they can create a photo album of past clinics. Also a big thank you to Jose offering his place for the Saturday evening banquet of roasted pig and trimmings.
This is a list of the names I gathered of the volunteer coaches:
- Pete Hartmann
- Troy Pearce
- JD Ramirez
- Mitch Talbot
- Jose Ulloa
- Juan Medina
- Leo Acosta
- Javier Gamboa
- Juan Sereiso
- Jonathan Romero
- Pete Lacock
- Brian McNichol
Sorry if I omitted anyone, there are so many behind the scenes “helpers”.
What a blessing to be invited to this by my friend Dolores Vargas Michaels, who has been a supporter from the beginning. Her son is a retired professional player and she’s a baseball mom. I had no idea the magnitude of this program and it’s already taking off quickly, the guys are organized and everyone has their part/position to play. They handed out baseball hats with their cool logo. This is only the beginning.
For more information you can contact Maria Garcia firstname.lastname@example.org or Jose Flores email@example.com