On November 5th, between 175-200 American men will arrive in Santo Domingo; they will conduct free baseball clinics for about 6,000 young Dominican baseball players. All of these boys play “travel ball.” They travel by foot (some walking two or three miles without shoes) to learn to become more proficient in playing the game they love. SCORE International has been hosting these free clinics for about 13 years. We keep returning because these Dominican kids simply love the game. There are no parents near the dugout providing drinks or snacks or carrying equipment bags for their sons. As a matter of fact, there are usually no equipment bags and parents aren’t there at all. If you are interested in going with us, contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or simply go to our website and sign up (www.scoreintl.org).
Not only do we conduct free baseball clinics, we also distribute food in sugar cane villages and serve in various other ways. This trip will re-charge your baseball battery and more importantly re-charge your spiritual battery!
Early in September, I took a small group of men to watch the Reds host the Brewers. Two of the men were former University of Kentucky basketball players. One of the former Wildcat stars loves baseball and watched the game with the intensity of a major league scout. The other former basketball player confessed to me on the way to Cincinnati that he grew up hating baseball, mainly because he idolized his older brother who hated ‘America’s Pastime.’ It was a picture perfect day for baseball, and I must say, the game was almost flawless. By the end of the sixth inning, my young basketball friend and “baseball hater” had fallen in love with the game. He had simply never given the game a chance to be enjoyed with friends.
Whether it’s “giving back” to the game by conducting free baseball clinics or taking a self-professed baseball hater to a major league game, there are plenty of opportunities to grow baseball within your sphere of influence. The important thing is to give. World War ll POW and author, Corrie ten Boom once said, “The measure of a life, after all, is not in its duration, but its donation.”
The American Baseball Coaches Association is leading the way in promoting, teaching and growing our game. Not only is the ABCA staff preparing for the largest baseball clinic and convention in the world in Indianapolis in early January, they are also energizing coaches in many American cities with the ABCA Barnstorming clinics. You can learn more on the new and improved ABCA website (www.ABCA.org).
Speaking of “giving back,” those who contribute articles to Inside Pitch are wonderful baseball men who truly love the game, and more importantly, love the players who play the game. To all of those who have donated time, talent and their passion for the game to our magazine, Thank you!